TUCSON – New research from the University of Washington finds ozone air pollution can accelerate emphysema just as much as smoking.
The 18-year study followed 7,000 people who got regular lung scans over 10 years.
It showed long term exposure to high ozone levels increased the progression of emphysema.
In some cases, pollution was just as harmful as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.
Emphysema, usually associated with smokers, is a chronic disease in which lung tissue is destroyed and unable to effectively transfer oxygen in the body.
The study is published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.