AJN On the Cover
On this month's cover, a smokestack billows thick clouds of smoke near a playground at Sterling State Park in Monroe, Michigan. Smokestacks like this one are common sources of particulate matter—airborne particles that can present significant health risks when inhaled, including respiratory problems, circulatory diseases, and cancer. These risks, and how nurses can help patients manage and reduce them, are discussed in this month's Environments and Health article.
In the article, the authors describe the composite case of a patient who lives with her children near several active smokestacks and a busy highway and has a mold problem in her rented home. Asthma exacerbations frequently bring her to the ED; she also suffers from poor sleep and has difficulty exercising. After learning via a nursing intervention about home air purifiers, an app to monitor air quality, ventilating her home, and mold remediation, the patient's symptoms begin to improve.
To learn more about the many sources of particulate matter pollution and the conditions and symptoms it can cause, as well as ways to assess for exposure and intervene, read “Nursing Practice and Particulate Matter Exposure” in this issue.—Diane Szulecki, editor