The study, published recently in Circulation Research and led by a team from King’s College London, has investigated how nitrogen dioxide can impact the cardiovascular system.
The study examined the blood chemistry and cardiovascular changes of 12 healthy volunteers. They sat next to a domestic gas cooker for ninety minutes followed by ninety minutes with normal background nitrogen levels. On another occasion, the volunteers were exposed to normal background nitrogen dioxide levels for three hours.
The period next to a gas cooker increased nitrogen dioxide levels in the air 10-fold and subsequently lowered blood pressure by 5 mm Hg from 45 minutes onwards. The study also found that blood levels of the substance nitrite increased by 15% after 15 minutes.