Does Air Pollution More Dangerous for Females than Males?

Vehicles flowing through a highway. effects of air pollution.

In this article, we are presenting an interesting research finding about the effects of air pollution. A new research paper presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress in Spain reveals that breathing diesel exhaust fumes impacts more severely on females than males. The researchers analyzed air pollution due to diesel exhaust fumes by collecting people’s blood samples and found that there are differences between males and females with respect to inflammation, infection, and cardiovascular disease.

It is a well-known fact that there are male-female differences in lung diseases such as asthma and respiratory infections. There are also studies that indicate that there are differences between males and females in the sunlight-induced production of hunger hormones. But the findings that diesel exhaust fumes discriminate between males and females in terms of severity of adverse effects is completely a new finding.

The study is based on five males and five females who were all healthy nonsmokers. Each of them spent four hours breathing filtered air and four hours breathing air containing diesel exhaust fumes at three different concentrations with a four-week break in between each exposure.

After 24 hours of each exposure, blood samples were taken from all of them. The research team analyzed the blood plasma to see whether there is any changes after the diesel exhaust fume exposure. By the way, plasma is a compound of your blood with the function of carrying blood cells, proteins, and other molecules from one part to other parts of your body.

Using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, the researchers studied whether there are any changes in the level of different proteins after pollution exposure among males and females.

They found that after the pollution exposure, the levels of 90 proteins varied between the two sexes. Some of the proteins that varied between males and females were important for inflammation, blood clotting, cardiovascular disease, damage repair, and the immune system. These changes were more adverse for females than males. Some of the variations between these groups become sharper when they were exposed to higher levels of concentration of diesel exhaust.

Although these are preliminary findings, it offers valuable insight into how the human body reacts to diesel exhaust fumes and how that may vary between the two sexes.

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