Just breathing in Iraq can be hazardous | Science News



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Just breathing in Iraq can be hazardous

Poor air quality an added danger to troops

12:00pm, March 31, 2011

ANAHEIM, Calif. — As if enemy fire, IEDs and suicide bombers weren’t enough, U.S. soldiers in Iraq also must contend with air that’s laden with heavy metals and lung-ravaging particles, researchers reported March 30 at the spring meeting of the American Chemical Society. Exposure to particles of the size collected in the study is of special concern because it can lead to chronic respiratory infections, asthma and elevated risk of cardiovascular problems.

Air samples collected over 90-minute intervals at several sites in Iraq since 2008 contained fine particulate matter, dust, lead, aluminum and other metals in quantities that frequently exceed U.S. air quality standards, graduate student Jennifer Bell o

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