In an interview with Dr. Hector Badellino, the topic of climate change and its impact on human health, now known as planetary health, was touched upon. Dr. Badellino emphasized that human actions on the planet have direct consequences for human health. In particular, the link between environmental pollution and respiratory health was discussed, focusing on particulate matter, including sand, mud and salt, which are carried by the wind due to drought and deforestation in the region.
The medical expert explained that the presence of these elements in the air adversely affects health. Starting with eye irritation and allergies, problems spread to the upper respiratory tract, causing nasal congestion, sneezing and throat irritation. At the level of the lungs, material particles can cause coughing, asthma attacks and breathing difficulties. For allergy sufferers, this climate is especially harmful, but even people who do not suffer from allergies can experience irritation and inflammatory reactions in the respiratory tract.
Dr. Badellino also noted that people with pre-existing medical conditions, such as smokers, patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma, are even more susceptible to the negative effects of long-term exposure to particulate matter. In addition, long-term exposure can lead to chronic inflammatory conditions such as sinusitis, bronchitis, and exacerbation of respiratory symptoms.
When asked about possible preventive measures, Dr. Badellino stressed the importance of caring for the environment as the first line of defense. Deforestation and intensive agricultural exploitation are key factors contributing to the transport of harmful particles. Additionally, he suggested that people who are susceptible to symptoms might consider wearing masks and goggles as a preventive measure.