Air pollution is a mixture of solid particles and gases in the air. Car emissions, chemicals from factories, dust, pollen and mold spores may be suspended as particles. Some air pollutants are poisonous, and inhaling them can increase the chance of having health problems. Air pollution isn't just outside - the air inside buildings can also be polluted and affect your health.
Monsoon storms send huge walls of dust across parts of Arizona, sometimes snarling traffic on roadways and knocking out power. There could be hidden health impacts for millions of people living in the state's dust zone as well. These dust storms - or haboobs - carry a noxious mix of fungi, heavy metals from pollutants, chemicals and bacteria that could lead to cardiovascular and eye disease, and other illnesses.
Asthma and related allergic diseases are two conditions that plague many Americans across the Southwest. Native Americans across the desert landscape have suffered from these ailments in disproportionate amounts. Understanding how particular environments can either contribute to, or offer protection from asthma offer the promise of improving treatment for asthma and allergy patients.