Poor air quality can have short and long term effects on people of all ages. The table below outlines the effects of different pollutants at very high levels.
|Health effects at very high levels
|Carbon Monoxide (CO)
|Carbon Monoxide reduces the amound of oxygen carried around the body in red blood cells. The result is that vital organs, such as the brain, nervous tissues and the heart, do not receive enough oxygen to work properly. Children are particularly at risk because they are smaller and their bodies are still growing and developing. People with existing heart problems are also likely to be affected.
|Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) Ozone (O3)
|These gases irritate the lining of the nose, airways and lungs. They increase the symptoms of those suffering from lung diseases and increase the likelihood of respiratory problems.
|Fine particles can cause a number of health problems as they are carried deep into the lungs.