Genotoxicity and Air Pollution

Authored by: Eliane Tigre Guimarães , Andrea Nunes Vaz Pedroso

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:


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Air pollutants cause great concern in many urban centers. They can be produced by both natural and anthropogenic sources. In this entry, emphasis was given to anthropogenic sources, mainly from vehicular emissions. Research indicates that the pollutants have caused many health problems in living organisms in general, especially in human beings. The literature shows an increase in morbidity and mortality from cardiorespiratory diseases caused by pollutants. Furthermore, a strong correlation between air pollutants and mutagenesis reveals that chronic exposure to high levels of air pollution may trigger the onset of tumors. In addition, several mutagenic tests using different organisms have been defined to check this hypothesis and to make risk prognosis. There is an urgent need to establish an agreement among the governments around the world to find ways to reduce drastically the emission levels, to encourage the development of vehicles using new technologies and cleaner fuels, and to give people a warning about the risks to which they are exposed.

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