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Potential effects on human health of an ammonia rich atmospheric environment in an archaeologically important cave in southeast Asia


This important cave is described together with an analysis of the potential health effects for humans inhabiting an ecosystem, albeit on a temporary basis, possessing an ammonia rich atmospheric environment. The work emphasises potential environmental hazards together with an evaluation of the range of clinical effects. The environmental pollution in this cave is generally unlikely to have marked adverse effects on temporary visitors who lack pre-existing respiratory impairments. It is suggested that ancient humans would, to avoid an unpleasant polluted environment, have confined most of their activities to the outer regions of the cave. Comparisons are made with other ammonia contaminated environments.

  • ammonia
  • guano
  • human health
  • archaeology
  • Niah
  • Borneo

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