Indoor Air Cartoon Journal, December 2018, Volume 1, #35
Functioning body cells mean a healthy body. Malfunctioning body cells mean unhealthy body. The effective functioning of each of the organ systems in the human body depends on each of the organs in them. Each organ depends on each of their tissues, and each tissue depends on cells in them. Air poisons, also known as air pollutants, when significant enough in human cells could cause structural modification or damage to genes, containing DNA, inside the cells. This causes the cells to malfunction. The malfunction of the cells could lead to diseases or death.
Uncontrollable mutation of modified or damaged cells that cause cancer is just an example. Modified or damaged cells could also produce unwanted substances that inhibit the proper functioning of an organ system. For example, exposure to tobacco smoke pollutants could cause goblet cells in the human body to overproduce and hyper-secrete mucus that has the potential to worsen airflow obstruction and cause a respiratory problem. Human airway epithelial cells could also produce inflammatory cytokines when exposed to particulate matters containing metals. Excessive production of inflammatory cytokines could cause inflammatory diseases.
It is important to note that there are many possible factors that could cause cells to malfunction or be damaged. However, evidence in the literature suggests that exposure to air pollutants/poisons is one of the major contributing factors. The toxicity level and concentration of air pollutants that find their way into the human body will determine the risk of having a malfunction or damaged cells. Effective source control and management practices that reduce concentration and exposure to air pollutants in an indoor and outdoor environment should be favoured to reduce human vulnerability.
Do you want to know more about this topic? Read Carter et. al. (1997), Harvey (1982) and Kim and Criner (2013) papers.