What are the Health Implications for Children in Schools Near Traffic?

Association between Traffic-Related Air Pollution in Schools and Cognitive Development in Primary School Children: A Prospective Cohort Study (24 age pdf, Jordi Sunyer, Mikel Esnaola, Mar Alvarez-Pedrerol, Joan Forns, Ioar Rivas, Mònica López-Vicente, Elisabet Suades-González, Maria Foraster, Raquel Garcia-Esteban, Xavier Basaga, Mar Viana, Marta Cirach, Teresa Moreno, Andrés Alastuey, Núria Sebastian-Galles, Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, Xavier Querol, PLoS Med, Mar. 3, 2015)

Also discussed here: Monitoring Roadside Air Pollution and Urban Health Impacts (Pollution Free Cities, Feb. 15, 2013)

Today we review research into the impact on brain development of children at schools exposed to high and low pollution levels produced by traffic emissions in Barcelona, Spain. Results indicate that students in low pollution areas have almost twice the increase in working memory (11.5%) per year compared to children in high pollution areas (7.4%). This is a warning to urban planners concerning the locations of schools: locate them at least 500 m from heavy traffic or take responsibility for the health impacts to the young children who attend these schools. Unfortunately many cities have schools located on major roads with traffic (in Ottawa, for example, more than 50% of day-cares (and 20% of schools) are located within 50 m of heavy traffic).

air pollution schools

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

What are the Societal Costs of Air Pollution?

The social cost of atmospheric release ( 14 page pdf, Drew T. Shindell, Climatic Change, Feb. 25, 2015)

Also discussed here: New models yield clearer picture of emissions’ true costs (Phys Org, Mar. 4, 2015)

Today we look at research into the social costs of emissions both carbon emissions that provoke climate change and associated health and environmental impacts and non carbon emissions which directly cause health impacts. Results indicate that the typical gasoline-powered car causes $1,700 of environmental damages each year in comparison with a small electric car (Nissan Leaf) which causes less than half as much ($840) when the electricity comes from coal, or $290 from natural gas or negligible if from renewable energy courses. This equates to an environmental cost of $3.80 per gallon of fuel. These cost estimates suggest in turn a reasonable price to put on those who drive these vehicles which would not only encourage a shift to less damaging forms of transportation as it suggests a revenue source to pay for the damage they do to the social and environmental environment.

social cost of pollution

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

Where is the World’s Most Polluted City – Delhi or Beijing?

Delhi Wakes Up to an Air Pollution Problem It Cannot Ignore (Gardiner Harris, New York Times, Feb. 14, 2015)

Also discussed here: Mr. President, World’s Worst Air Is Taking 6 Hours Off Your Life (Natalie Obiko Pearson, Bloomberg, Jan. 26, 2015)
Today we review several articles about the state of air pollution in Delhi, India which is 15 times higher (153 micrograms per cubic meter) than the maximum level recommended by the World Health Organization. Not only is the air pollution poorer in Delhi than in Beijing but it is monitored at only 4 locations compared to more than 30 in Beijing. President Obama’s exposure to Delhi’s pollution (average 76 to 84 micrograms per cubic meter) during his recent 3 day visit may have reduced his life expectancy by 6 hours.

delhi aq

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

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)

 

 

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

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

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

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

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

 

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

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

 

 

 

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