New York, Aug 14: Researchers have found that ozone air pollution which is increasing with climate change can accelerate lung disease as much as that by smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.

"We were surprised to see how strong air pollution''s impact was on the progression of emphysema on lung scans, in the same league as the effects of cigarette smoking, which is by far the best-known cause of emphysema," said Joel Kaufman, Professor at the University of Washington.

If you live in areas with increased levels of ozone, researchers found an increase in emphysema roughly the equivalent of smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for 29 years.

The study, published in the journal JAMA, demonstrates an association between long-term exposure to major air pollutants - especially ozone - with an increase in emphysema seen on lung scans.

Emphysema is a condition in which destruction of lung tissue leads to wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath and increases the risk of death.

The results are based on an extensive, 18-year study involving more than 7,000 people and a detailed examination of the air pollution they encountered between 2000 and 2018 in six metropolitan regions across the US. The participants were drawn from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) Air and Lung studies.

"To our knowledge, this is the first longitudinal study to assess the association between long-term exposure to air pollutants and progression of percent emphysema in a large, community-based, multi-ethnic cohort," said Meng Wang, Assistant Professor at the University at Buffalo.

While most of the airborne pollutants are in decline because of successful efforts to reduce them, ozone has been increasing, researchers said. Ground-level ozone is mostly produced when ultraviolet light reacts with pollutants from fossil fuels.

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Ranchi, Oct 18: Having lost nine successive tosses in Asia, an exasperated South Africa captain Faf du Plessis won't mind sending "someone else" in his place for the toss of the coin in the third and final Test against India, beginning here Saturday.

South Africa have struggled in Indian conditions and not winning the toss in the first two Tests has only made things tougher for them. Opting to bat in Visakhapatnam and Pune, India put up 500-plus totals to virtually bat the visitors out of the game.

"We really want to make sure that we compete with this team in their own conditions. We have done it in stages in the first Test. So, hoping that we can start with the toss tomorrow.

"Probably we will change... send someone else to the toss tomorrow. I can give you that... because my records so far has not been great," said du Plessis, in a lighter vein, on the eve of the game.

Du Plesiss said "anything is possible" if his side get to bat first.

"If you put big runs in the first innings, that's where it need to stop. Then anything from there is possible. Hopefully that will unfold in the next couple of days and hopefully we can put some runs on.

"The pitch looks a little bit drier and crustier so first innings runs will be vital and then anything from there is possible in the second innings," the South African skipper added.