Air is not the pure air. Harmful particles and gases in the atmosphere affect our health and make many sick. Hear a chemist and a doctor talk about sources of air pollution and how different substances affect our environment, climate and health.
Lecturers: Associate Professor of Analytical and Atmospheric Chemistry Marianne Glasius , Department of Chemistry, University of Aarhus and Professor of Environmental Medicine Torben Sigsgaard , Department of Public Health, Aarhus University
Every year around 3,000 people die in Denmark prematurely, and even more people get sick and hospitalized because of air pollution. Air pollution can lead to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. But recent research now also indicates that air pollution also affects the prevalence of other major diseases – including diabetes and Alzheimer's.
But where do the polluting particles and gases come from, in what quantities and which are the worst? Man has always produced and exposed himself to air pollution – especially from combustion; from, for example, bonfires, wood-burning stoves or car engines, but also via the ammonia emissions of agriculture. The wind carries the pollution in the atmosphere thousands of kilometers and a large part of the air pollution in Denmark therefore comes from abroad, just as we export our air pollution to our neighboring countries. Nature itself also produces polluting particles and gases that we are affected by – they come from, for example, forest fires, volcanic eruptions, desert dust and salt particles from the sea.
The researchers can trace the sources of particle pollution with advanced chemical analyzes of molecular trace elements. When we burn wood and plants, for example, cellulose is converted into sugars which become part of the particles in the smoke. Such specific substances use scientists to track sources of air pollution – even in remote Arctic regions.
But what are the main sources of air pollution with particles both locally and globally? What are their effects on the environment, the climate and our health? And how will climate change affect air pollution in the future? Get the answers from a chemist and physician researching air pollution and how it affects our health?
The lecture is streamed live from the University of Aarhus and is part of the series Public lectures in Science organized by the University of Aarhus and offered in collaboration with hosts in a number of cities and the Carlsberg Foundation .
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Det Lille Røgeri
Gudenåvej 48, Voervadsbro, 8660 Skanderborg
26. November 2019