New Delhi: Scientists have managed to decode how nanoparticles get into blood and damage heart.
Inhaled nanoparticles like those pumped out in vehicle exhausts can work their way through the lungs and into the bloodstream where they can raise the risk of heart attack and stroke.
In experiments using harmless ultra-fine particles of gold, the scientists were able for the first time to track how such nanoparticles are breathed in, pass through the lungs and then gain access to the blood.
Most worryingly, the researchers said at a briefing in London, the nanoparticles tend to build up in damaged blood vessels of people who already suffer from coronary heart disease – the condition that causes heart attacks - and make it worse.
"There is no doubt that air pollution is a killer, and this study brings us a step closer to solving the mystery of how air pollution damages our cardiovascular health," said Jeremy Pearson, a professor and associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation charity, which part-funded the study.
(With Agency inputs)