Recent data show how air pollution produces asthma, and it's quite surprising. Small air particles from the polluted air get deep into the lungs. Even though the immune system responds, the particles impair immune function. That impairment allows infections to occur, which results in asthma. So, pollution doesn't directly produce asthma but, instead, produces immune dysfunction that allows infections to succeed in damaging the lung, which in turn leads to asthma. Asthma rates are increasing in intensely urban areas, such as the inner-city areas of New York and Chicago, suggesting that poor air quality's ability to trigger the onset of asthma is a concern that actually can and does affect and age large numbers of us. Air quality also affects the number of sinus infections and respiratory illnesses that people suffer.
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