The importance of a Healthy Respiratory SystemSubstances harmful to the respiratory system•The quality of the air can have significant effects onour respiratory system.•As air moves into our lungs, harmful substances in theair may enter too. These harmful substances can causedisease or even death.•Air pollutants include smoke of cigarettes, gases fromthe industries, exhaust of engines and haze.
Harmful substances in air pollutantsAir pollutant Harmful substancesCigarette Smoke Nicotine, TarGases from Factories Sulphur dioxide, NitrogenDioxideExhaust Fumes Carbon MonoxideHaze Smoke, Dust
Cigarette Smoke Gases from FactoriesExhaust Fumes Haze
The effects of harmful substances on therespiratory system•Nicotinea. Nicotine is a drug that causes addiction tocigarette smoking.b. Nicotine causes rapid heartbeat, increased bloodpressure and rapid breathing.c. The disease related
•Tara. Tar contains carcinogens (substances thatcause cancer).b. Tar also irritates the respiratory tract, causingsmoker’s cough.•Sulphur dioxidea. Exposure to sulphur dioxide can cause theirritation of the respiratory system.b. It can cause temporary or permanentdamage to the lungs
•Carbon monoxidea. Carbon monoxide combines with haemoglobin in theblood faster than oxygen can, hence it is poisonous gaswhich causes suffocation.• Low concentration of carbon monoxide can causedizziness, headache and fatigue whereas highconcentrations can fatal.•Particular matter (fine particles in the air)a. Continuous exposure to particulate matter causescoughing, nasal congestion, watery nose, constantsneezing and chest pain.b. Those who are very likely to be affected by haze arechildren, the elderly and people with illnesses likeasthma, bronchitis and pneumonia.
Diseases of the Respiratory SystemAsthma Heart disease
Asthma•This disease is caused by the narrowing of the fineairways (bronchi and bronchioles) due to the contraction ofmuscles in their walls. This is perhaps because ofsensitivity to air pollutants including smoke.•A patient will find it different to breathe, wheezing andfeeling tightness in the chest.Heart disease•Nicotine raises the blood pressure and increase the levelof “bad” cholesterol in the blood.•This makes a smoker more likely to suffer from a strokeor a heart attack.
Bronchitis•Chronic bronchitis can be defined as a conditioncharacterized by recurrent or chronic cough every dayover a period of several months.•This disease is caused by the inflammation of the liningof the bronchioles. This may be due to infection bybacteria or viruses, or chemicals such as those found intobacco smoke.•Smokers cough is an early sign of chronic bronchitis.•In severe cases, the patient may turn blue which isspecially noticeable at the lips and fingers due to pooroxygenation of blood.
Lung cancer•This disease is caused by a change in the cells inside thelungs such that they divide out of control and producelumps of cells (tumours)Which interfere with the normal functions of the lungs.•90% of lung cancer patients have been heavy smokers.•The risk of developing this disease is directly related tothe amount of tar that gets into the lungs.•Lung cancer may not have any symptoms. When it isdetected, the cancer cells may have spread from thelungs to other organs.
•Emphysema is a condition in which the structure ofthe alveoli is broken down by coughing. Thisreduces the surface area for gas exchange.Emphysema
Ways to improve air qualityImproving indoor air quality•Avoid smoking indoors•Make sure there is a steady supply of fresh air.•Minimize air conditioning use•Keep carpets and floor dust free•Maintain a low humidity to prevent mould growth.
Improving outdoor air quality•Avoid open burning of leaves and trash•Do not allow cars or other motor vehicles idle for morethan a minute.•Walk, ride a bicycle, car pool or use publictransportation.•Keep the motor vehicle well maintained and use a fuel –efficient vehicle.•Reduce, reuse and recycle waste materials.•Implement laws and regulations to control air pollution.