Challenges in air pollution research

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The interaction between air pollution and health is a complex subject and there are many challenges facing researchers;

  • Air pollution has multiple sources and is a mixture of many different pollutants
  • Air pollution is a dynamic process, and once pollutants are emitted they interact with each other and the environment in a complex way, depending on other conditions
  • People’s interaction with air pollution differs depending on how close they are to the source of the pollution and how long they spend in a polluted area
  • Effects may depend on other existing health factors
  • The cause and effect of people’s symptoms may not always be clear and there is no pollution-specific disease – for example a heart attack cannot be directly linked to air pollution, as it could have been caused by other factors

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