Exposure to PM2.5 affects heart and can be fatal, study shows
PM2.5 dust could put people at risk of heart disease, head of Chulalongkorn University’s Information Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases said on Thursday.
In a Facebook post, Dr Thiravat Hemachudha said people could die due to acute myocardial infarction if they are exposed to PM2.5 (particles less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter), PM10 and nitrogen dioxide, citing the Journal of American College of Cardiology published on January 26 last year.
"Apart from lung, this study has proved that dust particles also affect the heart," he said.
He said forest fire, sandstorm, volcanic eruption and usage of fossil fuels caused the volume of PM2.5 to increase. He added that PM2.5 is among factors that cause people to die, along with obesity, lack of exercise and kidney failure.
"PM2.5 caused deaths to more than 50% of people through heart and blood vessel diseases," he said.
He also pointed out that 92% of people across the globe lived in areas where air pollution exceeds safety standards. He also expects many countries to spend a lot of cash to treat patients who suffer from air pollution.
Citing a study conducted in China's Wuhan city, he said 151,608 people had died due to heart and blood vessel diseases, while the average volume of PM2.5 was 63.4 micrograms per cubic metre (μg/m3).
"This study has proved that exposure to PM2.5 and PM10 could cause deaths," he said.
He said the death rate would increase by 4.14% for every 10 μg/m3 increase in PM2.5, adding that nitrogen dioxide would increase the death rate by 1.3%.
He added that all people could be at risk of death due to air pollution, especially the elderly aged 70 years or above.
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