Study: Inhaling diesel fumes may damage the immune system

A recent study published by the American site “Newsweek” reveals that the consequences of inhaling diesel fumes extend beyond immediate discomfort and may lead to the destruction of the human immune system, as well as exacerbating inflammations.

The study emphasizes the urgent need to take measures to mitigate the health risks associated with air pollution, particularly emissions from vehicles. According to estimates from the World Health Organization, exposure to fine particles in polluted air contributes to nearly 7 million deaths annually worldwide.

Statistics from the American Lung Association also reveal that more than one in three Americans live in counties where air pollution levels exceed recommended safety limits.

The site highlights that these microscopic particles have the ability to penetrate deeply into the tissues of the respiratory system, heart, and blood vessels, leading to various diseases ranging from heart and lung diseases to respiratory infections.

Research suggests that these pollutants can seep into the bloodstream and interfere with bodily processes, including immune function.

An earlier study conducted by the University of Oxford found that diesel emissions cause at least five times more health damage than exhaust emissions from gasoline, and twenty times more than electric cars.

Alarming Results

The study involved collecting blood samples from healthy volunteers, then isolating a subset of immature white blood cells. These cells, which are important components of the immune system, were exposed after maturation to diesel particles.

The site emphasized that the study’s results were alarming, showing that the exposed cells had reduced phagocytic ability, meaning they were less capable of ingesting infected cells and bacteria.

Furthermore, exposure to diesel particles prompted these cells to increase the production of inflammatory molecules, which can contribute to tissue damage and exacerbate existing health conditions.

Lead author Elona Yasprez highlighted the potential implications of these findings, particularly for individuals suffering from respiratory infections. Yasprez shed light on the crucial role of reprogrammed white blood cells in exacerbating negative health outcomes after exposure to particles and lung inflammations.

Yasprez emphasized that these results underscore the urgent need for further research into this distinct group of phagocytes, offering promising avenues for therapeutic interventions aimed at enhancing immune responses and mitigating disease severity.

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