Is there a link between air pollution and asthma? That is a question I am going to spend the next seven days investigating, and reporting on here at the RT Cave.
What is the answer to that question? I do not know. Many of us may have an opinion in this area, but are we really right?
It is true that there is a certain level of pollution in the air, and some of it is definitely caused by the burning of coal and oil, and some of it caused by natural things like the sun and ozone.
Setting opinion aside, we have some facts documented.
We know that, according to the AAAAI.org that between 1980 and 1994 the prevalence of asthma increased a whopping 75%. There are many theories for this increase, and one of them is air pollution. But there are other theories too
Likewise, according to the authors of a book called Fatal Asthma, the incidence of asthma related deaths has increased from being "negligible" in 1930 according to asthma experts at that time, to 3,000 per year in 1998 and 5,000 per year as of 2006.
Is pollution the cause of this rise in the prevalence of asthma? Is pollution the cause of the increase in asthma related deaths?
My goal in the next week is to clear my head of any bias I have (and I ask you to do the same), and I aim to investigate this matter and come to a logical conclusion based on the facts.
However, before you clear your head of any bias you might have, take the poll at the top of this blog. Go ahead, do it right now! I'll wait here for you.
Good. Sometime in the next week I will participate in the poll too. Throughout the next week (and time permitting because I do have to work 8 of the next 10 days), I will read, study and report to you facts regarding this matter.
Next Wednesday (April 1, 2009) at midnight the poll will close, and I will announce the results next Thursday. Likewise, at that time I will give you the latest information regarding pollution and asthma, and together we'll come up with a conclusion to our question: Is pollution the reason for the increase in the prevalence of asthma?
Once all the facts are on the table we'll retake the poll and see if the results change.
Oh, and one more thing: If any of my readers has any information regarding pollution, or that shows how pollution is or is not linked to asthma, send it my way and I will share it with my readers.
Go vote! Now! And then, with an open mind, stay tuned to the RT Cave for an open minded discussion on this matter. And don't be afraid to admit you are wrong or gloat if you are right.