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Asbestos serious health dangers - The use of asbestos continues to increase in Asia despite clear health hazards. A recent review notes that with approximately 4.3 billion people and a growing population, Asia will likely see a large crop of asbestos-related lung diseases in the next few decades. Some of the cases will be benign, but it is likely that there will be many cases of mesothelioma and lung cancer. Efforts are needed to improve the recognition and diagnosis of asbestos-related lung diseases, and government and non-government groups must cooperate to take steps to prevent them. Respirology
Office worker health - lungs. living 'green' walls may have adverse health effects on office workers living in hot, polluted climates. Investigating levels of air pollutants in modern office buildings, Dr Nicola Carslaw from York's Environment Department led a modelling study focusing on ultrafine particles (UFPs). Such particles are a health concern as they can carry potentially toxic species into the lungs. Indoor UFP formation is shown to be linked to the oxidation of outdoor plant and tree species in heatwave conditions. Given the increasing popularity of green walls covered in plants and vegetation, their prevalence in hot, polluted locations could exacerbate indoor air pollution. Dr Carslaw said: "Although significant attention is paid to the role of outdoor air pollution and its adverse impact on health, little thought is given to indoor air quality even though in developed countries we spend 90 per cent of our time indoors. If we want to fully understand our exposure to air pollution, it is crucial to understand the processes that lead to exposure to pollutants indoors, whether in the office or in our homes. University of York
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