Inhaling car exhaust fumes can increase your chance of getting a cardiovascular disease or even a heart stroke, according to a new study.
A team of international researchers has found that chemicals released when petrol and other fuels are burnt weaken the heart’s ability to pump effectively and can lead to irregular heart beats, thereby raising the chance of strokes.
In fact, according to the study, the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) compounds found in oil and petrol facilitate body fluid to build up, causing arrhythmia or heart beat abnormalities that can increase the risk of strokes.
“The available data suggests that these PAHs are present in burning oil in levels high enough to result in pharmacologically active levels in the human blood stream,” the study said.
“Once in the bloodstream, they are likely to be toxic to the human heart, and should be considered prime suspects for the health effects of urban air. In essence, people in big cities are breathing an aerosolised oil spill.
“A physician who knowingly gave an aerosolised particle toxin to a patient with coronary artery disease would probably be sued for malpractice.
“But the air in our cities is doing just that to millions every day unknowingly,” said lead researcher John Incardona of the West Coast Centre for Oceans and Human Health as saying.