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Air Pollution by Hydrothermal Volcanism and Human Pulmonary Function.

Linhares D, Ventura Garcia P, Viveiros F, Ferreira T, dos Santos Rodrigues A - Biomed Res Int (2015)

Bottom Line: The OR for restrictive defects and for exacerbation of obstructive defects (COPD) in the hydrothermal area was 4.4 (95% CI 1.78-10.69) and 3.2 (95% CI 1.82-5.58), respectively.Increased prevalence of restrictions and all COPD severity ranks (mild, moderate, and severe) was observed in the population from the hydrothermal area.These findings may assist health officials in advising and keeping up with these populations to prevent and minimize the risk of respiratory diseases.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biology, University of the Azores, Ponta Delgada, 9501-801 Azores, Portugal ; CVARG, Center for Volcanology and Geological Risks Assessment (CVARG), University of the Azores, Ponta Delgada, 9501-801 Azores, Portugal.

ABSTRACT
The aim of this study was to assess whether chronic exposure to volcanogenic air pollution by hydrothermal soil diffuse degassing is associated with respiratory defects in humans. This study was carried in the archipelago of the Azores, an area with active volcanism located in the Atlantic Ocean where Eurasian, African, and American lithospheric plates meet. A cross-sectional study was performed on a study group of 146 individuals inhabiting an area where volcanic activity is marked by active fumarolic fields and soil degassing (hydrothermal area) and a reference group of 359 individuals inhabiting an area without these secondary manifestations of volcanism (nonhydrothermal area). Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were adjusted for age, gender, fatigue, asthma, and smoking. The OR for restrictive defects and for exacerbation of obstructive defects (COPD) in the hydrothermal area was 4.4 (95% CI 1.78-10.69) and 3.2 (95% CI 1.82-5.58), respectively. Increased prevalence of restrictions and all COPD severity ranks (mild, moderate, and severe) was observed in the population from the hydrothermal area. These findings may assist health officials in advising and keeping up with these populations to prevent and minimize the risk of respiratory diseases.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

(a) Location map of the Azores archipelago and (b) São Miguel Island. The places represented on the map correspond to the two studied areas (Ponta Delgada and Ribeira Quente).
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fig1: (a) Location map of the Azores archipelago and (b) São Miguel Island. The places represented on the map correspond to the two studied areas (Ponta Delgada and Ribeira Quente).

Mentions: The Azores archipelago (Portugal) comprises nine volcanic inhabited islands, located between 36°45′–39°45′N and 24°45′–31°17′W (Figure 1(a)), where the Eurasian, African, and American lithospheric plates meet [10]. On account of this complex tectonic setting, seismic and volcanic activities are frequent in the archipelago [11]. São Miguel Island, the largest of the archipelago, is formed by three major active central volcanoes (Sete Cidades, Fogo, and Furnas), linked by rift zones [12] (Figure 1(b)). Furnas Volcano is located in the eastern part of the island, where present-day volcanic activity is marked by several hydrothermal manifestations consisting of active fumarolic fields, thermal and cold CO2-rich springs, and soil diffuse degassing areas [11, 13]. Gases released in these diffuse degassing areas are essentially carbon dioxide (CO2) and radon (222Rn), this last one a radioactive gas. Carbon dioxide is one of the most abundant volcanic gases and is amongst the most important diffused gases released by soil degassing in Furnas Volcano (hydrothermal soil CO2 emissions in Furnas Volcano are estimated to be approximately 968 t/d) [14]; this gas, if present at high concentrations, can become particularly dangerous for public health, since it works as asphyxiant preventing oxygen respiration [15]. Previous studies [13] showed that CO2 is released permanently to the atmosphere from soils in volcanic areas not only during eruptive periods, but also during quiescent periods of activity. Considering that CO2 released by soils may enter the buildings through pipes, cracks in the floor, and/or the contact between floor and walls, it is considered important to assess the CO2 flux in buildings. Carbon dioxide level is usually greater inside a building than outside, and it can act as an indicator of ventilation efficiency, showing whether the supply of outside air is sufficient to dilute indoor air contaminants [16]. According to WHO [17], indoor air pollution is responsible for 2.7% of the diseases worldwide; such effects of indoor air pollution are particularly highlighted in studies regarding the occupational exposure, as it was shown in the review made by Balmes et al. [18] that estimated that 15% of COPD was attributable to the air quality at the workplace.


Air Pollution by Hydrothermal Volcanism and Human Pulmonary Function.

Linhares D, Ventura Garcia P, Viveiros F, Ferreira T, dos Santos Rodrigues A - Biomed Res Int (2015)

(a) Location map of the Azores archipelago and (b) São Miguel Island. The places represented on the map correspond to the two studied areas (Ponta Delgada and Ribeira Quente).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4537725&req=5

fig1: (a) Location map of the Azores archipelago and (b) São Miguel Island. The places represented on the map correspond to the two studied areas (Ponta Delgada and Ribeira Quente).
Mentions: The Azores archipelago (Portugal) comprises nine volcanic inhabited islands, located between 36°45′–39°45′N and 24°45′–31°17′W (Figure 1(a)), where the Eurasian, African, and American lithospheric plates meet [10]. On account of this complex tectonic setting, seismic and volcanic activities are frequent in the archipelago [11]. São Miguel Island, the largest of the archipelago, is formed by three major active central volcanoes (Sete Cidades, Fogo, and Furnas), linked by rift zones [12] (Figure 1(b)). Furnas Volcano is located in the eastern part of the island, where present-day volcanic activity is marked by several hydrothermal manifestations consisting of active fumarolic fields, thermal and cold CO2-rich springs, and soil diffuse degassing areas [11, 13]. Gases released in these diffuse degassing areas are essentially carbon dioxide (CO2) and radon (222Rn), this last one a radioactive gas. Carbon dioxide is one of the most abundant volcanic gases and is amongst the most important diffused gases released by soil degassing in Furnas Volcano (hydrothermal soil CO2 emissions in Furnas Volcano are estimated to be approximately 968 t/d) [14]; this gas, if present at high concentrations, can become particularly dangerous for public health, since it works as asphyxiant preventing oxygen respiration [15]. Previous studies [13] showed that CO2 is released permanently to the atmosphere from soils in volcanic areas not only during eruptive periods, but also during quiescent periods of activity. Considering that CO2 released by soils may enter the buildings through pipes, cracks in the floor, and/or the contact between floor and walls, it is considered important to assess the CO2 flux in buildings. Carbon dioxide level is usually greater inside a building than outside, and it can act as an indicator of ventilation efficiency, showing whether the supply of outside air is sufficient to dilute indoor air contaminants [16]. According to WHO [17], indoor air pollution is responsible for 2.7% of the diseases worldwide; such effects of indoor air pollution are particularly highlighted in studies regarding the occupational exposure, as it was shown in the review made by Balmes et al. [18] that estimated that 15% of COPD was attributable to the air quality at the workplace.

Bottom Line: The OR for restrictive defects and for exacerbation of obstructive defects (COPD) in the hydrothermal area was 4.4 (95% CI 1.78-10.69) and 3.2 (95% CI 1.82-5.58), respectively.Increased prevalence of restrictions and all COPD severity ranks (mild, moderate, and severe) was observed in the population from the hydrothermal area.These findings may assist health officials in advising and keeping up with these populations to prevent and minimize the risk of respiratory diseases.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biology, University of the Azores, Ponta Delgada, 9501-801 Azores, Portugal ; CVARG, Center for Volcanology and Geological Risks Assessment (CVARG), University of the Azores, Ponta Delgada, 9501-801 Azores, Portugal.

ABSTRACT
The aim of this study was to assess whether chronic exposure to volcanogenic air pollution by hydrothermal soil diffuse degassing is associated with respiratory defects in humans. This study was carried in the archipelago of the Azores, an area with active volcanism located in the Atlantic Ocean where Eurasian, African, and American lithospheric plates meet. A cross-sectional study was performed on a study group of 146 individuals inhabiting an area where volcanic activity is marked by active fumarolic fields and soil degassing (hydrothermal area) and a reference group of 359 individuals inhabiting an area without these secondary manifestations of volcanism (nonhydrothermal area). Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were adjusted for age, gender, fatigue, asthma, and smoking. The OR for restrictive defects and for exacerbation of obstructive defects (COPD) in the hydrothermal area was 4.4 (95% CI 1.78-10.69) and 3.2 (95% CI 1.82-5.58), respectively. Increased prevalence of restrictions and all COPD severity ranks (mild, moderate, and severe) was observed in the population from the hydrothermal area. These findings may assist health officials in advising and keeping up with these populations to prevent and minimize the risk of respiratory diseases.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus