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Air Quality and Appendicitis

Posted on May 01, 2013
by Wendy Stackhouse

Have you ever had appendicitis? I did a few times when I was a kid–no fun! But I never had my appendix out. I guess it never got so bad that it was about to burst.

A recent study from Canada, however, has linked levels of ozone in the air with higher risk of having a burst appendix. Dr. Gilaad Kaplan of the University of Calgary found that the “risk of a burst appendix rose by 22 percent with every 16 part-per-billion increase in ozone levels over the previous seven days” as reported in this article from LiveScience. The study examined over 35,000 appendicitis patients in a four-year span.

On a typical day, ozone levels can range from 0 to 300 parts-per-billion, which would be thought of as a very unhealthy AQI (Air Quality Index).

Approximately 15% of people will get appendicitis in their lifetime. Most of those will have successful appendectomies before their appendicitis gets very dangerous, but a burst appendix is a very dangerous situation which can lead to peritonitis and even death. Minimizing the risk of these complications is yet another reason to improve our air quality.

Ozone is a problem in our outdoor air, but indoor air can be polluted, too, sometimes even at higher levels. That indoor air pollution can cause health problems like allergy and asthma attacks and can contribute to heart disease and other serious illnesses. If you need help keeping your indoor air clean, contact AirTek for a consultation!

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