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Air_pollution_main report_WEB

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Chapter 4: Summary Exposure to air pollution has health effects at every stage of life, from before birth into old age. The damage is sometimes gradual, and may not be apparent for many years. Lung function naturally develops throughout childhood, and there is clear evidence that long-term exposure to outdoor air pollution suppresses this process. In addition, it may speed up the decline of lung function through adulthood and into older age. There is also good evidence that outdoor air pollution causes lung cancer. It is likely that long-term exposure to air pollution is linked to the development of asthma. For people who already have asthma, there's strong evidence that air pollution can make it worse. We still need more research, but it's possible that exposure to air pollution could be associated with the appearance of diabetes, and may also damage the brain's thinking abilities (cognition) in subtle ways that build up over time. Large studies have shown a strong link between air pollution and cardiovascular disease (heart disease and strokes). 50 © Royal College of Physicians 2016

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