Various research projets about the number of deaths caused by atmospheric pollution observe that between 3.3 and 8.8 million people in the world - mainly in Asia - would have died prematurely from symptoms linked ozone and fine particles pollution.
The ozone atmospheric pollution
This pollution shall not be confused with the ozone layer which is present at very high altitude. The bad ozone is present at low altitude. It is the result of several compounds like carbon oxides (NOx) or hydrocarbons. The main source of this pollution comes from cars. It is more important in case of high temperatures or lack of wind as ozone stagnates in the atmosphere.
The symptoms are versatile depending on the exposure duration and frequency but also on the concentrations. They range from mild irritation of the eyes and the respiratory tracts (tingling to the eyes and nose) up to respiratory diseases.
The fine particles atmospheric pollution
Particles with a diameter lower than 2.5 micrometers are considered as fine. These particles give the shape and the consistency to fumes. The major emissions come from the cars, but also from the forest fires and the heating means.
These infinitely small particles pass straight unhindered through the respiratory tracts to deposit in the lungs. On the long term they are responsible for respiratory diseases and infections from repeated and prolonged exposures.
The nitrogen compounds atmospheric pollution
The nitrogen compounds, like nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nitric oxide (NO) are mainly exhausted by internal engine combustion (diesel) but also by thermal plants or raw materials combustion. The urban districts are thus primarily affected by this pollution.
Nevertheless, nitrogen oxides are very toxic and widely used in the food industry as fertilizer. So there is a risk in rural areas especially when fertilizers are spread into fields