slide show – Lucca, something different (Italy) – part III

Here’s the third part of my “different point of view” about Lucca, where I live (the first part is here, the second part is here )

This time I made a small slide show about pollution and rubbish, even in a nice town full of art and monuments.

This winter in Lucca the air quality was very bad, with a high level of PM10

Do you know what does PM10 mean?

PM10 is a mixture of materials that can include smoke, soot, dust, salts, acids, and metals. Particulate matter also forms when gases emitted from motor vehicles and industry undergoes chemical reactions in the atmosphere.

How air pollution affects the human body?
When you breathe in suspended particulate matter in it can attack and inflame your tissues all the way down the respiratory tract. Because these particles are so small, they can go deep inside your lungs and damage the smallest airways called bronchioles.
As the particles approach the cells lining the lungs, they are attacked by macrophages, part of the lungs’ defense system. In turn, the macrophages trigger the release of inflammatory cells from the bone marrow. In some instances, toxic particles can destroy macrophages. Some particles make it all the way into the cells lining the lung, causing further inflammation that can hinder breathing.
Particles may also enter the bloodstream. Together with inflammatory mediators, they cause serious effects on the nervous system, as well as the heart and lungs.
Air pollution has the greatest effect on children, the elderly and those with respiratory and heart problems. Here is what air pollution can do to our health:

  • Increase and aggravate asthma
  • Create disease in the airways of children
  • Increase respiratory illness in children
  • Damage the lungs
  • Increase deaths from respiratory and cardiovascular disease
  • Increase hospital admissions for lung and heart disease
  • Cause chest pain and nausea
  • Cause shortness of breath and (faster) laboured breathing
  • Permanently change lung structure

Please click on the image below to start a small slide show with audio.