Saturday, May 24, 2008

Lives cut short on average by 10 years

New research finds rates of heart attacks, strokes, and other serious diseases increase exponentially when people breathe air containing even slightly higher amounts of particulate pollution, microscopic particles which sink deep into the lungs. Californians exposed to high levels of this type of air pollution had their lives cut short on average by 10 years.

"When Dublin imposed a coal ban, when Hong Kong imposed reductions in sulfur dioxide, when there was a steel mill strike in Utah . . . they saw immediate reductions in deaths," said Bart Croes, chief researcher for the California Air Resources Board, according to a May 22, 2008, article in the Los Angeles Times. Click here to read the rest of Janet Wilson's article.


ghitz said...

I saw a comment about this article indicating that a similar study had been done for the Ohio River Valley - not sure when, though. Does anyone know anything about that?

G. Hitzhusen

Bradford Wade said...

There was a report called "Ohio Valley-Ozone Alley" that focused specifically on the Ohio River Valley. But that's about ozone.

As for studies about particulate pollution, Steubenville was included in Harvard's landmark "Six Cities" study. Here is a link to the extended follow-up report. It found "significant associations of fine particulate air pollution with mortality."

Anyone know about any other studies?

Bradford Wade said...

After consulting "Ask A Librarian," Meribah emailed two more reports:

"The Particulate-Related Health Benefits of Reducing Power Plant Emissions"

"Nitrogen Oxide Emissions and Midwest Power Plants"

Thanks Meribah!

In the process of finding links for these two reports, I stumbled on a third, "How Air Pollution from Power Plants Threatens the Health of America’s Children," which I like so much, I'm adding it to our site's links list.

Bradford Wade said...

Researchers at the University of Michigan have completed a new study. Click here to read news about their report which confirms that even low levels of air pollution may increase stroke risk. The study, "Ambient Air Pollution and Risk of Ischemic Stroke and TIA," will be published in the July 2008 issue of Annals of Neurology.

Bradford Wade said...

"According to an article published in the August 26, 2008, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), air pollution has both short- and long-term toxic effects that injure the heart and blood vessels, increase rates of hospitalization for cardiac illness, and can even cause death.

'We used to think air pollution was a problem that primarily affects the lungs. We now know it is also bad for the heart,' said Robert A. Kloner, M.D., Ph.D., director of research at the Heart Institute of the Good Samaritan Hospital, and a professor of medicine at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, both in Los Angeles."

Bradford Wade said...

Unregulated nanoparticles from diesel engines inhibit lungs

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Diesel engines emit countless carbon nanoparticles into the air, slipping through government regulation and vehicle filters. A new University of Michigan simulation shows that these nanoparticles can get trapped in the lungs and inhibit the function of a fluid that facilitates breathing.

- Click here to read the full press release.