Air pollution continues to kill thousands of people each year

Air pollution continues to kill thousands of people each year

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US researchers are studying air pollution and its effects
Air pollution is a common problem around the world, which can lead to various health problems. Every year, many people die from the negative effects of polluted air. Researchers have now found that - although the air in the United States appears to have been getting cleaner for decades - thousands of people still die each year from the effects of air pollution. The deaths occur, although current levels of air pollution are actually approved as safe, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The scientists at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found in their research that air pollution still kills thousands of people in the U.S. every year. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "New England Journal of Medicine".

Air is still too contaminated
The levels of air pollution that the Environmental Protection Agency actually classified as safe still result in the deaths of thousands of Americans. The data from the current study show that we still inhale harmful air, emphasizes the author Professor Francesca Dominici from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The air is still too contaminated.

Doctors analyze the data of 60 million patients
For their study, the scientists use the data from air monitoring stations and satellites to create a detailed picture of air pollution. They then analyzed the impact of low air pollution on human mortality using data from 60 million patients from 2000 to 2012.

Current security standards are not sufficient
If the levels of the fine particles were reduced by just one microgram per cubic meter of air, this could save about 12,000 lives in the United States alone, the researchers explain. The study shows that current security standards are simply not secure enough, adds Dominici. Fine particles absorbed by the air basically consist of tiny dust and soot particles.

Socially disadvantaged people are particularly hard hit
Some people in the United States are particularly badly affected by the negative effects of air pollution. Socially disadvantaged people and African-American men are at increased risk, the authors explain. For example, one of the reasons could be that these groups of people live in areas with increased air pollution and mostly have poor access to effective health care.

Governments need to keep the air clean
The results show that more needs to be done to keep air pollution as low as possible. It is the responsibility of governments to ensure that the air is clean and does not pose a threat to human health, the scientists emphasize.

Current Trump administration policies lead to increased air pollution
Some experts believe that the Trump administration's current policies will lead to increased air pollution. This is due, for example, to the increased use of coal, a softening of the current standards for permitted emissions and the withdrawal in the fight against global warming. These factors will cause more people to die in polluted air in the future, the researchers say. The poor and the socially disadvantaged are most affected. (as)

Author and source information

Video: Air pollution: lets analyse, clean, and deliver. Matthew Johnson. TEDxWarwick (June 2022).