Google+

Does The Ozone Effect The Heart

Ozone pollution appears to cause potentially dangerous changes in the heart at levels that might be encountered in the world’s most polluted cities. Scientists have uncovered signs of inflammation and heart rhythm disturbances in 23 healthy young volunteers who briefly inhaled elevated levels of ozone, the primary irritant in urban smog.

The alterations, reported online June 25 in Circulation, go a long way toward explaining population data that have started linking ozone to an elevated risk of death from heart attacks and stroke (SN: 12/11/04, p. 372).

Many air pollution scientists, “including me, have in the past thought associations with ozone [and disease outside the lung] were really associations with particles or some other pollutant,” says Douglas Dockery of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. But he says the new study now directly shows ozone is causing acute — and even chronic — risk for heart attacks.

For two hours on separate days, toxicologist Robert Devlin of the Environmental Protection Agency in Research Triangle Park, N.C., and his colleagues exposed men and women to clean air or to air containing 0.3 parts per million ozone. On the high-ozone day, volunteers inhaled the same cumulative dose that they would have received over eight hours in a place that exceeded the U.S. federal limit of 0.075 parts per million for that length of time.

Ozone reaches such levels in Los Angeles and Houston. And heavily polluted cities such as Beijing and Mexico City have experienced peak hourly ozone concentrations approaching the raw level used in the experiment.

A growing body of data indicates inflammation underlies the progression of cardiovascular disease. In the new study, blood levels of several inflammatory agents increased after ozone exposure — sometimes more than doubling —throughout a period that lasted more than a day. This “caught us by surprise,” Devlin says, and “we think it’s one of the more important and significant findings.”

The high ozone exposure also triggered subtle changes in heart rate variability. Although small, this points to an increased risk of arrhythmias, notes EPA cardiologist Wayne E. Cascio. Ozone also altered levels of several proteins involved in blood clotting.

Usually, various biochemical players in the body’s clotting network “keep each other fairly mellow,” says cardiologist Tracy Stevens of St. Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Mo. But in this study, she notes, ozone exposure induced changes to the clotting system that riled things up in ways “that would make one more prone to clot.”

Most impressive, she says, “were all those changes in markers of inflammation.” In healthy young adults, such changes shouldn’t cause harm, Stevens says. But in the elderly and persons with diabetes or heart disease, these immune system players could inflame the plaque that had been accumulating in arteries, provoking it to rupture.

When this happens, Stevens explains, the body turns on clotting in its attempt to heal what it reads as a wound. “It’s these clots that obstruct blood flow and trigger a sudden crisis,” she says — such as a heart attack.

Source: science news / Janet Raloff

Entertainment

For movies opening September 30, 2016

  OPENING THIS WEEK Kam's Kapsules Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun by Kam Williams For movies opening September 30, 2016 BIG BUDGET FILMS   Deepwater Horizon (PG-13 for intense action sequences, disturbing images and brief profanity) Disaster flick recreating the real-life events surrounding the 2010 explosion of the offshore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico which claimed the lives of 11 crewmen and led to the worst … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

Richards Rocks!

  Sandra L. Richards The “Rice & Rocks” Interview with Kam Williams Richards Rocks! The American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, Sandra L. Richards is the author of “Rice & Rocks.” She hopes that her debut picture book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity. Sandra completed both her undergraduate and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

More Than a Score

  ACRONYM TO FOLLOW by Peter Brav   Finally Our Day has come There’s a Day for everything For doughnuts, siblings, eight track tapes Grilled cheese, daughters and sons to work Encouragement, Alzheimer’s Coffee, math, chewing gum Blasphemy, yo-yos And now finally One for us Truly a Day to celebrate National Don’t Shoot An Unarmed Brother Doctor King Not Seeing Progress George Orwell Laughing It Is So About the … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

New Home Sales Jump in April

  New Home Sales Jump in April By Burt Carey Sales of new homes hit their highest rate since 2008 in April, according to the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau. April sales increased 16.6 percent over March figures, which correlates to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 home sales projected for the year. The median price of those new homes was $321,000, the highest median price ever recorded. That’s up 9.7 percent … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Richards Rocks!

  Sandra L. Richards The “Rice & Rocks” Interview with Kam Williams Richards Rocks! The American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, Sandra L. Richards is the author of “Rice & Rocks.” She hopes that her debut picture book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity. Sandra completed both her undergraduate and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Apex Gear ACCU•STRIKE XS Series Bow Sights

  Apex Gear ACCU•STRIKE XS Series Bow Sights By Brad Fenson As an avid bowhunter, I’m always looking for a sight to not only help me acquire a target accurately and quickly but provide adjustability while being lightweight. It might be a lot to ask for but with a wide array of hunting situations, you have to be selective in your equipment to ensure you are always successful in the long run. The Apex Gear ACCU•STRIKE™ XS was … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

There Are Superheroes Among Us

  There Are Superheroes Among Us by Amy Lignor   This story truly proves that a superhero does not require a cape, tights, or the ability to fly. In a world where all headlines seem to be centered around who shot who, who is being put upon, who’s “getting away with it” – all the way to who is getting divorced and who may or may not be kneeling at NFL games – negative stories seem to be the only ones covered anymore by the media. … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Scholastic Announces Sales of More Than 3.3 Million Copies of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

  Scholastic Announces Sales of More Than 3.3 Million Copies of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two New York, NY (August 10, 2016) — Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two script book, the eighth Harry Potter story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne, published in the U.S. and Canada by Scholastic has sold more than 3.3 million copies in North America to date.Scholastic announced a first printing … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Vacation Time Has Turned “Spooky”

  Vacation Time Has Turned “Spooky” by Amy Lignor   Myths and legends, both spooky and surreal, are becoming the subject of many books and newspaper articles lately. And the location of many, oddly enough, happen to be in the Southwest. It used to be that a nice white sandy beach was the one place we yearned to go on vacation to get away from it all. Now, however, people are searching for places to travel where legends still exist, and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Controlling a Species: Humans Being Humane

  Controlling a Species: Humans Being Humane by Amy Lignor   Humane. There is a reason why this word and human are basically spelled the same. What needs to happen, however, is for them to mean the same. There are societies out there that talk about just that. From clubs to groups to volunteer organizations that protect all varieties of our animal friends, “humane” is one act that they wish would be considered in any and all … [Read More its Good for You...]