Examples of respiratory clinical effects associated with air pollution

Increased respiratory mortality
Increased incidence of malignancies of the respiratory tract
Increased incidence, prevalence or frequency of exacerbations in chronic pulmonary disease: asthma, COPD and cystic fibrosis
Increased incidence or severity of upper and lower respiratory tract infections
Increased respiratory symptoms that affect quality of life: cough, phlegm, wheezing, dyspnoea and nasal drainage
Increased incidence of preterm birth, low birthweight or growth restriction leading to adverse respiratory outcomes
Reduced growth of lung function in children
Transient (hours) reductions in lung function associated with symptoms in healthy individuals
Transient (hours) reductions in lung function without symptoms in especially susceptible individuals (e.g. children with severe asthma)
Persistent or chronic (weeks, months or years) reductions in lung function
  • COPD: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.