A strong immune system is very important for the functioning of a healthy body. It is necessary to understand how different pollutants have different effects on our immune system. Let us understand how air pollution adversely affects the functioning of our body and our immunity.
The human body’s immune system consists of different types of immune cells. Air pollution disrupts the functioning of different immune cells like particle-clearing macrophages, inflammatory neutrophils, dendritic cells that orchestrate adaptive immune responses and lymphocytes. Air Pollution aggravates T helper lymphocyte type 2 (Th2) and T helper lymphocyte type 17 (Th17) adaptive immune responses, which are responsible for asthmatic and allergic conditions. Besides this, air pollution also widely affects the entire body’s immune system such as the neonate and gastrointestinal tract. Read on to understand the effects of air pollution on the immune system and how one can reduce its health effects.
Air pollution and the Immune System
According to a study published in the Circulation Research journal of the Ohio State University, chronic breathing of polluted air causes cardio-respiratory diseases. Inhaling dirty air can trigger the release of white blood cells into the bloodstream and can result in inflammation. The presence of PM or fine particulate matter triggers imbalance in the immune system. Molecules present in the cells, when they are exposed to particulate matter, can start reacting. The molecules start changing structures and activate toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). TLR4 identifies the specific characteristics of pathogens and activates the white blood cells.
Effects of Air Pollution on Your Health
Air pollution has detrimental effects on the immune system and your overall health. It can cause irritation of eyes, dry nose, mouth and throat allergy, skin itching, diminished energy levels, headache and dizziness. It also causes some serious conditions such as,
- Respiratory diseases like asthma attacks, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung disorders, pulmonary cancer, pneumonia, etc.
- Leukaemia, which occurs due to the exposure to benzene vapours (through inhalation)
- Birth defects, which may be caused due to the mother inhaling polluted air while carrying the baby in the womb
- Cardiovascular problems, heart diseases, and stroke
- Neurological problems and developmental deficits due to inhaling air toxins such as mercury.
As per reports, close to 7 million people die due to polluted air every year. In order to avoid serious and fatal health hazards caused by air pollution, it is advisable to remain indoors when outdoor air pollution levels are high and ensure that at least the indoor air unpolluted.
Solution for Indoor Air Pollution
Using an air purifier is the smartest way to curb air pollution at home. KENT has a wide range of air purifiers equipped with KENT HEPA Air Purification and Ozone Disinfection to purify the air quality inside your home. KENT air purifiers remove bacteria, PM 2.5, pet dander, odour, and other pollutants from indoor air. These air purifiers are high-efficiency and low-maintenance home air cleaners with CE certification. Not much can be done to purify the air quality outdoors, however, upgrading the air quality within your home is in your hands.