How Much of a Health Threat is it to Live Near a Highway?

Residential Proximity to Major Roadways and Prevalent Hypertension Among Postmenopausal Women: Results From the Women’s Health Initiative San Diego Cohort (12 page pdf, Kipruto Kirwa, Melissa N. Eliot, Yi Wang, Marc A. Adams, Cindy G. Morgan, Jacqueline Kerr , Gregory J. Norman, Charles B. Eaton, Matthew A. Allison and Gregory A. Wellenius, J Am Heart Assoc., Oct. 1, 2014)

Also discussed here: Hypertension risk rises closer to major roadways (ScienceDaily, Oct. 1, 2014)

And here: Living Near a Highway May Be Bad for Your Blood Pressure (MedlinePLus, Oct. 1, 2014)
Today we review research into the possible links between the prevalence of hypertension for older women (average age 65) and how far they live from a busy roadway or highway. Results indicate that women living within 100 m of a busy road have a 22% higher risk of developing high blood pressure which equates to aging two additional years, compared to women living more than 1000 m from a busy road. The reason for hypertension which affects 1/3 of the USA population may be either noise or air pollution related to emissions from traffic or both.

distance to highway

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What is the Health Impact from Short Term Exposure to a Combination of Air Pollutants?

A Comparison of Risk Estimates for the Effect of Short-Term Exposure to PM, NO2 and CO on Cardiovascular Hospitalizations and Emergency Department Visits: Effect Size Modeling of Study Findings (14 page pdf, Ellen Kirrane, David Svendsgaard, Mary Ross, Barbara Buckley, Allen Davis, Doug Johns 1, Dennis Kotchmar, Thomas C. Long, Thomas J. Luben, Genee Smith and Lindsay Wichers Stanek, Atmopshere, Dec. 6, 2011)

Today we review research that statistically examines the degree to which one pollutant in combination with one or two others (CO, NO2 and PM) on a short term basis (a few days after exposure) affects health impacts and how much correlation exists between pollutants in causing these impacts. Results indicate that there is an association between NO2 and PM as one might expect this from transportation emissions and also the association between NO2 and cardiovascular diseases. The authors recommend a greater density of monitors to measure the pollutant concentrations and to isolate the influence of each.

PM CO and NO2 correlations

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World-wide Causes of Death from Climate Change to the Mid 21st century

Quantitative risk assessment of the effects of climate change on selected causes of death, 2030s and 2050s (128 page pdf, Editors: Simon Hales, Sari Kovats, Simon Lloyd, Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, World Health Organization, Sep. 21, 2014)

Also discussed here: Quantitative risk assessment of the effects of climate change on selected causes of death, 2030s and 2050s (Press Release, WHO, Sep. 21, 2014)

Today we review an updated estimate of the impact of climate change on health by the World Health Organization. Not including deaths from extreme events, the WHO estimates that an additional 241,000 deaths per year by 2030 (rising to 250,000 /yr to 2050) will be caused by climate change impacts that include under-nutrition of children, malaria, diarrhea and heat stress for the elderly. The greatest impacts geographically are in southeast Asia and India with significant impacts also in central and southeast Africa and southeast USA. Because of sea level rise brought about by climate warming and sea ice melt, coastal floods caused by cyclones. While reductions in emissions and mitigation may reduce some of the impacts, deaths from heat exposure and stress are expected to continue to rise above 100,000/yr by 2050.

world map excessive deaths

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How Healthy is it to Live Near Natural Gas Wells being Fracked?

Proximity to Natural Gas Wells and Reported Health Status: Results of a Household Survey in Washington County, Pennsylvania (28 page pdf, Peter M. Rabinowitz, Ilya B. Slizovskiy, Vanessa Lamers, Sally J. Trufan, Theodore R. Holford, James D. Dziura, Peter N. Peduzzi, Michael J. Kane, John S. Reif, Theresa R. Weiss, and Meredith H. Stowe, Environmental Health Perspectives, Sep. 10, 2014)

Also discussed here: People Who Live Near Fracking More Likely To Become Sick, Study Finds (Emily Atkin, ThinkProgress, Sep. 10, 2014)

And here: An Evaluation of Water Quality in Private Drinking Water Wells Near Natural Gas Extraction Sites in the Barnett Shale Formation (Abstract, Brian E. Fontenot, Laura R. Hunt, Zacariah L. Hildenbrand, Doug D. Carlton Jr., Hyppolite Oka, Jayme L. Walton, Dan Hopkins, Alexandra Osorio, Bryan Bjorndal, Qinhong H. Hu, and Kevin A. Schug, Environmental Science and Technology, Jul. 25, 2013)

Today we review ground-breaking (literally) research into the potential health impacts for those who live near natural gas wells being drilled using fracking which involves the injection of large amounts of water and solvents into the earth. Results indicated that 39% of people within 0.6 miles of the wells reported respiratory problems compared to only 18% of those who live more than 1.2 miles away. Other studies indicate the presence of certain poisonous chemicals such as arsenic, selenium and strontium near fracking wells which exceed Environmental Protection Agency standards. The authors recommend more studies into this issue.

fracking cancer
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How Does Air Pollution Impact the Health of Children?

Air Pollution and Children: Neural and Tight Junction Antibodies and Combustion Metals, the Role of Barrier Breakdown and Brain Immunity in Neurodegeneration (Abstract, Lilian Calderón-Garcidueñas, Aristo Vojdani, Eleonore Blaurock-Busch, Yvette Busch, Albrecht Friedle, Maricela Franco-Lira, Partha Sarathi-Mukherjee, Su-Bin Park, Ricardo Torres-Jardón, Amedeo D’Angiulli, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Aug. 2014)
Also discussed here: Air pollution harmful to young brains, study finds (ScienceDaily, 10 Sep. 10, 2014)
And here: Air Pollution Invades Kids’ Brain Barriers, May Cause Neurological Diseases (Anthony Rivas, Medical Daily, Sep. 10, 2014

 

A sketch displaying the efflux transports at t...

A sketch displaying the efflux transports at the blood-brain barrier. Inspired by a sketch from S. Ohtsuki: New aspects of the blood-brain barrier transporters; its physiological roles in the central nervous system. In: Biol Pharm Bull. 27, 2004, pp. 1489-1496. PMID 15467183 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today we review research that found that fine particulate air pollutants (typical in exhausts of diesel buses and trucks) can penetrate barriers in the lungs, intestines and brain that, in turn, can affect children’s health and lead to long term permanent damage, including the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease or multiple sclerosis.

 

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What are the Health Impacts for People Living Near Biodegradable Waste Sites?

Respiratory and sensory irritation symptoms among residents exposed to low-to-moderate air pollution from biodegradable wastes (Abstract, Victoria Blanes-Vidal, Jesper Bælum, Joel Schwartz, Per Løfstrøm and Lars P Christensen, Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, Aug. 21, 2014)
Also discussed here: Respiratory, Sensory and General Health Symptoms among Populations Exposed to Air Pollution from Biodegradable Wastes (1 page pdf, Victoria Blanes-Vidal, Jesper Bælum, Joel Schwartz, Esmaeil S. Nadimi, Per Løfstrøm, Lars P. Christensen, Poster Paper, International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, Aug. 21, 2014)

Today we review research from Denmark which examined the direct and indirect impacts for people in residences near biodegradable waste sites. Results indicate increased frequency of respiratory and sensory irritation symptoms directly related to dose and exposure.

bio waste

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What is E-Waste and What Health Risks does it Bring?

E-Waste: Health Impacts in Developing Countries (EHS Journal, Jul. 19, 2014)

Today we review a paper that describes the size and health threat of the annual disposal of 40M tones of e-waste, nearly 50% of which comes from EU and USA/Canada, with most of the disposal and processing taking place in Asian countries such as India, China and Pakistan. E-waste is considered more dangerous than most other municipal waste because of the harmful metals that when incinerated produce high health risk dioxins and furans. Government and public health regulations are called for in the manufacturing and recycling of electronic devices, as well as in the safe handling of the waste management.

ewaste

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