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Smoke gets in your lungs

Post in 'The Green Room' started by webbie, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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  2. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    PapaDave likes this.
  3. ewdudley

    ewdudley Minister of Fire

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    Article referred to fails to quantify risk except in relative terms, so of course it could be a simple case of "twice nothing is nothing".

    The same authors offer less drama in other articles:

    The HRs for lung cancer were similar with and without restriction to study participants below most of the predefined public safety threshold values, say the authors. This suggests that "exposure of populations to particulate matter air pollution even at concentrations below the existing European Union air quality limit values for PM10 (40 ug/m³) and PM2.5 (25 ug/m³) might increase the risk for lung cancer," they write.

    However, other studies have not found that there is a pronounced relation between air pollution and any particular lung cancer subtype, the authors and editorialists point out.
  4. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    I can intuitively agree that anything in the air other than the very long term evolutionary mix, with perhaps some small variation
    • Nitrogen – 78 percent
    • Oxygen – 21 percent
    • Argon – 0.93 percent
    • Carbon dioxide – 0.038 percent
    likely is not good for living things, especially particulates and likely most airborne chemicals not occurring in nature. Rather than asserting that a particulate or chemical has not been proven unsafe and therefor OK, I am of the school that would say "prove it safe before you dump it in my lungs, deposit it on my soil, or add it to my water." Coming back years later and saying "I'm sorry" or "I didn't know" just doesn't cut it with me anymore. There was a time that this worked, the time of superstition and snake oil, but no more in my book.
  5. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    It's similar to the old radiation story.

    For years the public was led to believe that radiation exposure under a certain amount was OK. Then along came John Gofman with impeccable credentials (manhattan projects, patents on uranium fission, etc.) and claimed that there was NO safe dose.

    I suspect the same thing is true here.

    It's somewhat sad to me because millions die and suffer and the onus of proof is NOT on the corporations, government and other parties who spew this stuff. The system is set up perfectly to allow blame to be shifted or, even worse, never even established.

    A very large percentage of Americans breath unsafe air. Add that to other forms of pollution and you have millions of preventable diseases, conditions and premature deaths.

    AND, much of it is due to our addiction to growth of GDP and refusal to plan and implement human-centered policies. IMHO, anyway.
  6. ewdudley

    ewdudley Minister of Fire

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    This is fine if you're satisfied with relying on intuition to justify categorical assumptions, but the OP was referring to a scientific study, which, apparently, neither you nor the OP has read.

    The study claims that exposure to pollution at levels currently held to be 'acceptable' increases the risk of cancer by a hazard ratio of about 1.2. In other words, move from Rotterdam to a mountain top in Tahiti and reduce your risk of lung cancer to 83.3% of what it was.

    And what is the "evolutionary mix"?

    Man's evolutionary predecessors learned to control fire a half a million years ago or more, and man was forced to leave the pure air of Eden behind as a result. If the harm of breathing smoke had outweighed the advantages of fire then evolution would have put an end to the practice of controlling fire tens of thousands of generations ago.

    So don't worry about pollution? Of course not. The improvements of the last fifty years clearly demonstrate that fighting pollution is a worthy enterprise. But condemning current pollution thresholds without bothering to read the study thwarts the need to analyze risk and optimize outcomes based on quantifiable costs and benefits.

    --ewd
  7. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    ewd, after a search of the Scriptures I fail to find control of fire being the cause of the Fall, especially when your half million year time frame predates Scripture by nearly a half million years. Now I wonder whether the short life span of man's evolutionary predecessors was also the result of breathing smoke as they exercised their fire prowess?
  8. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    Studies of preserved human remains from before the industrial revolution find a surprising dearth of cancerous and precancerous tumors. Studies trying to correct for shorter life expectancy say the difference is significant. I think the EPA, FDA, etc do a decent job of protecting us from specific factors, but the cumulative effect of everything out there is the cancer rate we consider 'normal'.
    NortheastAl likes this.

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