Chapter

Complexity in Pollution/Disease Management

Authors:
  • Italian Society of Digital Health and Telemedicine
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Abstract

Air pollution can be considered a model to describe complexity and its implication in medicine. The number of components and interactions, the distribution of airborne pollutants through space and time and the possible short-and long-term effects on cells, tissues, organs and apparatus are an exhaustive example. The whole human being is more complex than the sum of its parts which are systems more complex than the sum of their parts and so on. The risk for health which comes from exposure to air pollutants can be measured partially and the hazard may be known. However, the real long-term implications may remain unknown becoming a not crossable limit for medical research. We can estimate the risk for individual and population, and we can try to find solutions, such as new technologies like artificial intelligence; but the system will remain complex and so unpredictable.

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... Furthermore, environmental pollutants, climate changes and SARS-CoV-2 infection have been associated with changes in the central nervous system (CNS) that could lead to mental and/or behavioral alterations through different physiopathological mechanisms: inflammatory processes, activation of the immune system, oxidative stress, damage to blood vessels, dysfunctions of neurotransmitter systems (Costa et al., 2020a;Chan et al., 2020;Paniz-Mondolfi et al., 2020;Steardo et al., 2020a;Calderón-Garcidueñas et al., 2008a;Calderón-Garcidueñas et al., 2011;Calderón-Garcidueñas et al., 2012;Guxens and Sunyer, 2012;Brockmeyer and D'Angiulli, 2016). However, it is difficult to establish the specific cause-effect relationships of these phenomena on mental health, as they result from the interactions of two complex systems: the environment, with everything (biotic and abiotic elements) populating it, and human beings (Torres and Casey, 2017;Gaddi et al., 2018). ...
... Air pollutants were associated to the pathophysiology of different psychiatric disorders, such as psychotic, depression, anxiety, and neuropsychiatric disorders Costa et al., 2020a;Shin et al., 2018;Lim et al., 2012;Power et al., 2015;Pun et al., 2017;Saez et al., 2018;Volk et al., 2013;Jung et al., 2013), as well as with the exacerbation of psychiatric symptoms (Shin et al., 2018;Bernardini et al., 2020;Szyszkowicz, 2007;Yackerson et al., 2014;Szyszkowicz et al., 2010;Kim et al., 2010;Lin et al., 2016;Oudin et al., 2018;Lim et al., 2012;Jung et al., 2013). Certainly it should be considered that air pollutants impacts on human health depends on wide range of factors: pollutant type, sources and concentration, time and way of exposure, interaction between different pollutants, as well as biological and socio-cultural factors, such as age, sex, ethnicity, previous illnesses, income, education, and neighbourhood, city, or country in which subject lives (Gaddi et al., 2018;Stewart et al., 2015). All these variables may in part explain the still inconclusive results of the influence of environmental pollution on mental health. ...
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Book
Fundamentals of Air Pollution is an important and widely used textbook in the environmental science and engineering community. Written shortly after the passage of the seminal Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, the third edition was quite timely. Surprisingly, the text has remained relevant for university professors, engineers, scientists, policy makers and students up to recent years. However, in light of the transition in the last five years from predominantly technology-based standards (maximum achievable control technologies or MACTs) to risk-based regulations and air quality standards, the text must be updated significantly. The fourth edition will be updated to include numerous MACTs which were not foreseen during the writing of the third edition, such as secondary lead (Pb) smelting, petroleum refining, aerospace manufacturing, marine vessel loading, ship building, printing and publishing, elastomer production, offsite waste operations, and polyethylene terephthalate polymer and styrene-based thermoplastic polymers production. Overall, revisions will reflect the numerous changes in the understanding of air pollution and the development of new technologies that has occurred in the past twelve years. * Focuses on the process of risk assessment, management and communication, the key to the study of air pollution. * Provides the latest information on the technological breakthroughs in environmental engineering since last edition * Updated inforamtion on computational and diagnostic and operational tools that have emerged in recent years.
Treccani: dizionario della lingua italiana: Istituto italiano della enciclopedia italiana
  • R Simone
Simone R. Treccani: dizionario della lingua italiana: Istituto italiano della enciclopedia italiana; 2013.
  • M Manca
Manca M. Handbook of Complexity in Medicine: Springer; 2017.