Safe ozone levels can be unhealthy for lungsJuly 24th, 2009 - 3:27 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, July 24 (IANS) Ozone levels deemed safe can be taxing for healthy lungs, according to new research.
“The National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone was recently revised to set lower limits for ozone concentrations,” said Edward Schelegle, University of California-Davis (UC-D).
“Specifically, we found that 6.6 hours exposure to mean ozone concentrations as low as 70 parts per billion have a significant negative effect on lung function, even though the current NAAQS standards allow ozone concentrations to be up to 75 parts per billion (ppb) over an eight-hour period.”
To test whether mean ozone concentrations above and below the new standard tax lung function, Schelegle and colleagues recruited 31 healthy non-smoking individuals.
They participated in 6.6-hour sessions during which they were exposed to ozone at 60, 70, 80 or 87 ppb or filtered air while undergoing six 50-minute bouts of moderate exercise followed by 10-minute breaks.
A 35-minute lunch break separated the third and fourth bouts of exercise, according to an UC-D release.
“These data tell us that even at levels currently below the air quality standard, healthy people may experience decreased lung function after just a few hours of moderate to light exercise such as bicycling or walking,” said Schelegle.
“While these changes were fully reversible within several hours, these findings highlight the need to study susceptible individuals, such as asthmatics, at similar ozone concentrations and durations of exposure,” he added.
The results are slated for publication in the Aug 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
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Tags: american journal of respiratory and critical care, american journal of respiratory and critical care medic, asthmatics, bouts, critical care medicine, healthy lungs, light exercise, lung function, minute lunch, moderate exercise, naaqs standards, national ambient air, non smoking, ozone concentrations, ozone levels, ppb, respiratory and critical care medicine, susceptible individuals, uc, university of california davis