Disorders of the Lungs

  • Dean Sheppard


The lung has a far greater external surface area (almost 70 m2) and encounters more of the external environment (about 9000 L of air daily) than any other organ. As a result, the lung is both a common target for environmental disease and an important point of entry for pollutants that cause toxicity to other organs. The significance of adverse effects of air pollution on the lung became apparent in the aftermath of several episodes of severe air pollution that occurred in the middle part of this century. The worst of these episodes occurred in the Meuse Valley, Belgium in 1930, in Donora, Pennsylvania in 1948, and in London, England in 1952. They were all associated with clear-cut acute increases in mortality (90). The excess deaths attributable to air pollution during these episodes were generally clustered among patients with pulmonary diseases. Following the Donora episode there was one report of exacerbation in 88% of asthma patients surveyed (80).


Sulfur Dioxide Nitrogen Dioxide House Dust Mite Pollutant Exposure Bronchiolitis Obliterans 
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Recommended Readings

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

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  • Dean Sheppard

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