The hearts of young people in the city contain billions of toxic particles from air pollution, research has revealed.
Even in the youngest subject of the study, which was three years old, one can see damage in the cells of the critical organ muscles that contain the small particles. The study shows that these iron-rich particles produced by vehicles and industry can be the main cause of the long-established statistical link between polluted air and heart disease.
Scientists say the abundance of nanoparticles can be a serious public audience. health concerns and that particulate air pollution should be reduced immediately. More than 90% of the world's population lives with toxic air, according to the World Health Organization, which has declared the issue of a global "public health emergency".
Scientists have recognized some uncertainties in their research, but Professor Barbara Maher of the University of Lancaster said, "This is a preliminary study in a way, but the findings and consequences are too important to keep the information out there."
Maher and colleagues found that the same nanoparticles were present in the human body in 201
While all ages were affected, Maher said she was particularly concerned about the children.
"For truly young people, evidence now has many injuries at an early stage in both the heart and the brain," she said. "We have a probable candidate [particle] who has access to both organs with pathological evidence that indicates that a disability occurs."
The last comprehensive review concluded that air pollution could harm any organ and almost every cell in the human body. As the small particles are inhaled, they move into the bloodstream and transport around the body. Much of the evidence for damage, from diabetes to reduced intelligence to increased spontaneous abortions, is epidemiological, as harmful experiments on humans are unethical. But a study in 2018 found particles of air pollution in the plaques of women who gave birth.
The new study is the first direct evidence that rich nanoparticles can cause heart disease. Small particles have already been known from laboratory tests to be seriously harmful to human cells and to be a significant component of air pollution around.
Maher said, "Putting an abundance of iron-rich nanoparticles directly into the sub-cellular components of the muscle tissue of the heart is not where you want to sit. They are inside the mitochondria, which are damaged and seem unusual. Mitochondria are your energy source, making sure your heart works effectively. "Mark Miller, an expert on cardiovascular effects of air pollution from the University of Edinburgh but not part of the study, said:" While there are some uncertainties, the study highlights how important it is to better understand the way , on which particle air pollution can cause harm to different parts of the body.
More efforts are needed to reduce particulate emissions from vehicles, especially to eliminate the number of vehicles on the road, encouraging people to walk and make short trips. "
The study, reviewed and published in Environmental Research, analyzes heart tissue taken from 63 young people who have died in road accidents but have not suffered chest trauma. They lived in Mexico City where there was great air pollution and had an average age of 25.
The study was conducted in two main parts: calculating the number of available iron-rich nanoparticles; and their location in tissue and related damage. The number of particles found is between 2 and 22 billion grams of dry tissue; and their presence was two to ten times higher in the residents of Mexico City than nine controllers who lived in less polluted places.
Scientists from the medical team reported that "exposure to [nanoparticles] appears to be directly related to early and significant cardiac damage."
Maher said the results are appropriate for all countries: "There is absolutely no reason to expect this to be different in any other city." are likely to carry additional pollutants. "We can imagine that these nanoparticles are loaded with a toxic mix."
Iron-rich nanoparticles start as molten droplets from fuel burning and then quickly cool in spheres of melted surfaces. The particles in the heart tissue have these characteristics, not the small iron-rich magnetite crystal, which is known to occur naturally in at least one brain, the brain.
The technique used to locate nanoparticles in heart tissue can not be used to measure their composition. Instead, scientists parted the tissue particles to determine their composition and magnetic content, and then used the average particle size and magnetism to estimate the total number.
They said they would like to confirm the particle composition within the cells, but that would require the use of expensive equipment and Maher said they did not get funding for the work. – We have to do this in a small volume. This is crazy. "