What’s going on in Israel? – Jerusalem Post
An international group of scientists and medical experts say a new study shows a potential link between high concentrations of a pollutant found in the exhaust of a gas-powered car and a sudden increase in the risk of respiratory illness and cancer.
In a study of more than 30,000 people in Israel, researchers found the concentration of a common form of benzene – a gas compound that is used in air conditioners, air filters and catalytic converters – in their breath was four times higher than in the general population.
The new study, published Thursday in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, adds to the growing body of evidence linking benzene exposure to a number of illnesses, including lung cancer and cardiovascular disease.
In addition to raising health concerns, the study also highlights the importance of avoiding the toxic compound, known as benzene, in cars.
The researchers examined the results of morethan 7,000 participants aged between 18 and 80 who lived in Israel and had no prior benzene poisoning.
The findings were published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Research Letters.
Among the findings:People who had been exposed to benzene from their own breath in the past year had higher concentrations of benzenes in their bloodstream than the general Israeli population.
In addition, the concentration in their blood was four-fold higher than what was found in people with prior benzine exposure.
The study also revealed that those who had not been exposed at all to benzenes had higher levels of the pollutant than the people who had taken the compound in the previous year.
In other words, people who lived far from cities with high concentrations were more likely to be exposed to this pollutant from their breath, but also more likely than those living in the cities to have had their exposure from other sources.
Benzene is one of the most common pollutants in the world.
It is used as a flame retardant, as a refrigerant and as a solvent in paints and other materials.
It has also been linked to a wide variety of illnesses including asthma, cancer and heart disease.
Although the study focused on people in their 20s and 30s, the authors warned that the findings may not apply to younger people, as they did not have any previous exposure to benzones.
In the United States, the National Academy of Sciences has issued a report saying there is no conclusive evidence linking exposure to Benzene to any type of health problem.