Dust Storms: Environmental and Health impacts
Background and Objective
Dust storms are an atmospheric phenomenon with adverse effects on the environment. These storms can have detrimental effects on the economy and health of societies and create climate changes. Understanding the nature, origin, and effects of dust storms is important in determining their appropriate mitigation measures. In this review article, factors causing the occurrence of dust storms and their effects on the environment, health, and economy as well as methods for locating and controlling them are discussed.
Material and Methods
This review article was conducted on various aspects of dust storms using internet sources and doing library search. Key words like Dust storm, environmental impacts, health, and air pollution were used to search for articles and publications in various databases such as Science Direct, Google Scholar, Springer, Magiran, and Iran Medex between 1995 and 2011. In total, 200 articles were collected, 59 of which were chosen based on their relevance.
Dust particles ascend as high as 6 kilometers and spread to 6000 kilometers across the surface, which reduces the horizontal vision to 103 to 104 meters. Atmospheric dust blocks the sun light and decreases agricultural produce by 3% to 30% and can also cause diseases including meningitis, Rift Valley fever, asthma and viral diseases. It can also cause damage to the DNA of skin and lung cells. An increase of 10 micrograms per cubic meter in the concentration of particles smaller than 10 microns (PM10) at the time of the dust phenomenon can increase mortality rate in humans by 1 percent.
Journal of North Khorasan University of Medical Sciences, Volume:2 Issue:4, 2011
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