Estimating Health Risks from Air Pollution Using Fixed Sites or Personal Monitors

Estimating risk of emergency room visits for asthma from personal versus fixed site measurements of NO2  (6 page pdf, Scott Weichenthal, Patrick Bélisle, Eric Lavigne, Paul J. Villeneuve, Amanda Wheeler, Xiaohong Xu, Lawrence Joseph, Environmental Research, Feb. 2015)
Today we review research from Windsor, Ontario which compared the exposure to NO2 from an Ogawa personal exposure meter to daily exposure estimated from a fixed nearby measurement site, part of the National Air Pollution Surveillance (NAPS) network and in reference to emergency asthmatic cases. Results indicated that next to zero correlation between the two values from a sample of almost 1,000 measurements. The authors concluded that more attention must be paid to how exposure to pollution is estimated for risk estimates in epidemiological studies. This has significant implications for urban air quality network design as well.

 

An air quality measurement station in Edinburg...

An air quality measurement station in Edinburgh, Scotland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

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Is there a Link between Air Pollution and Stress?

Associations between air pollution and perceived stress: the Veterans Administration Normative Aging Study (23 page pdf, Amar J Mehta, Laura D Kubzansky, Brent A Coull, Itai Kloog, Petros Koutrakis , Avron Spiro III, Pantel Vokonas, Joel Schwartz, Environmental Health, Jan. 27, 2015)

Today we review research conducted in the Boston area with white older men whose exposure to air pollution was averaged over one to 4 weeks over a period of 12 years and compared with a stress index, Perceived Stress Scale, for the previous week. Stress has been found to be associated with depression and depression with a greater risk of heart disease and death. Results indicate a strong association with the vehicle emissions, such as PM 2.5 and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particularly in colder months of the year, when higher admissions to emergency for depression take place.

stress and AQ

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UK calls for Action to Reduce Air Pollution and Its Health Impacts

Action on Air Quality – HC 212 – Sixth Report of Session 2014–15 (51 page pdf, Environmental Audit Committee, House of Commons, UK, Nov. 26, 2014)

Also discussed here: Air pollution ‘causing deadly public health crisis’ (James Gallagher, Health editor, BBC News, Dec. 7, 2014)

Today we review a report from a Committee of the British House of Commons calling for action both in the short and long term (2030) to improve air quality – its 3rd report on this issue in the last 5 years. In 92% of the Air Quality Management Areas, road transport is the main cause of that pollution, so that recommendations call for more efficient vehicles and fewer diesel powered ones and more Low Emission Zones. The Committee recognizes the powerful lobbies (such as automobile associations and oil/gas industry) against progress – as it is, if not more so in Canada and the USA – but pleads that the UK government should not wait to be ordered by the EU parliament to act.

UK deaths due air pollution

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Do Cholesterol Pills Reduce the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease from Exposure to Particulate Matter?

Statins: Widely used drugs may protect people from air pollution (Brian Bienkowski, Environmental Health News, Nov. 24, 2014)

Also discussed here: Chronic PM2.5 exposure and inflammation: determining sensitive subgroups in mid-life women.(Abstract, Ostro B, Malig B, Broadwin R, Basu R, Gold EB, Bromberger JT, Derby C, Feinstein S, Greendale GA, Jackson EA, Kravitz HM, Matthews KA, Sternfeld B, Tomey K, Green RR, Green R, Wnviron Res., May 8, 2014)

Today we review research into the ways that the drugs taken to reduce cholesterol interact with C-reactive protein to reduce the inflammation that normally is caused by exposure to fine particulate matter. This is important since 1 in 4 adults over 45 take statins (including Lipitor, Zocor and other brand names) and over 800,000 deaths world-wide are caused by fine particles.

smart growth cities

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Does Air Pollution Cause Kidney Disease?

County-Level Air Quality and the Prevalence of Diagnosed Chronic Kidney Disease in the U.S. Medicare Population (Abstract, page 824, Jennifer L. Bragg-Gresham, Hal Morgenstern, William M. McClellan, Sharon Saydah, Desmond Williams, Neil R. Powe, Delphine S. Tuot, Yi Li,1 Rajiv Saran, American Society of Nephrology, Nov. 11-16, 2014)

Also discussed here: Air pollution associated with higher rates of chronic kidney disease (Science Daily, Nov. 16, 2014)

Today we review research into the link between air pollution and chronic kidney disease or CKD. Results indicate higher prevalence of the disease with particulate (PM2.5) readings as low as 8.4 μg/m3, much lower than the expected threshold of 40 μg/m3 for elderly patients. Higher incidence of CKD may be expected in countries or regions with higher air pollution levels than where this research was conducted in counties across the USA.

PULP MILL AIR POLLUTION - NARA - 544999

PULP MILL AIR POLLUTION – NARA – 544999 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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Does Traffic-Related Air Pollution Cause Teenage Obesity?

A Longitudinal Cohort Study of Body Mass Index and Childhood Exposure to Secondhand Tobacco Smoke and Air Pollution: The Southern California Children’s Health Study (30 page pdf, Rob McConnell, Ernest Shen, Frank D. Gilliland, Michael Jerrett, Jennifer Wolch, Chih-Chieh Chang, Frederick Lurmann, and Kiros Berhane, Environmental Health Perspectives, Nov. 12, 2014)

Also discussed here: Tobacco smoke, roadway air pollution linked to childhood obesity (Science Daily, Nov. 12, 2014)

Today we review research based on following the weights of several hundred children through their adolescence (from age 10 to 18) and their exposure to second hand smoke and to proximity to air pollution from nearby traffic. The link between smoking by pregnant mothers (in uterus exposure) has long been known to have an impact on the obesity of the child in later life. The researchers conclude that adding exposure to traffic pollution caused a weight gain equivalent to a 6.6% and all of the side effects that go with obesity, including high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure etc.

English: These children, playing in a public s...

English: These children, playing in a public space, vary in their proportion of body fat. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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How Does Stress Combine with Air Pollution to Affect Health Impacts?

Social stressors and air pollution across New York City communities: a spatial approach for assessing correlations among multiple exposures (25 page pdf, Jessie LC Shmool, Laura D Kubzansky, Ogonnaya Dotson Newman, John Spengler, Peggy Shepard and Jane E Clougherty, Environmental Health, Nov. 6, 2014)

Today we review research into the association, if any, between between social environment stresses and air pollution as they both affect health outcomes in a large city (New York) in the assumption that stress may weaken the body’s reaction to air pollution . The stresses range from murder rates to Food Bank registrations. Results indicate that linking a single stress proxy to air pollution may not produce reliable conclusions for environmental health policy– rather the authors recommend both more research and the use of multiple stress measures.

English: Air pollution

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