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Health Effects of Sulphur Dioxide

Exposure to elevated level of sulphur dioxide can cause impairment of respiratory function, aggravation of existing respiratory disease (especially bronchitis) and cardiovascular disease. In sensitive individuals, the lung function changes may be accompanied by perceptible symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing. Sulphur dioxide may also lead to increased mortality, especially if elevated levels of suspended particles are also present. Major subgroups of the population that are most sensitive to sulphur dioxide include asthmatics and individuals with cardiovascular disease or chronic lung disease (such as bronchitis or emphysema) as well as children and the elderly.