How is Europe Dealing with Air Pollution from Agriculture?

Clean Air from our Farms (4 page pdf, European Environmental Bureau Position Paper, Apr. 28, 2015)

Also discussed here : Infographic: How agricultural emissions affect our health (European Environmental Bureau, Apr. 28, 2015)

Today we review a note from the European Environmental Bureau which focuses on emissions and pollutants from agriculture which makes up 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions and 40% of the methane from the EU, and impacts both the air(acid rain), soil and human health. A National Emissions Ceilings Directive, issued in 2013, set new targets for ammonia, PM2.5 and methane among other pollutants, with a focus on livestock and manure management as well as croplands and the use of fertilizers and pesticides.

eeb_ag_infographic_hr-01

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If You Live Close to Traffic, Your Brain will Shrink

Long-Term Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter, Residential Proximity to Major Roads and Measures of Brain Structure  (Abstract, Elissa H. Wilker, Sarah R. Preis, Alexa S. Beiser, Philip A. Wolf, Rhoda Au, Itai Kloog, Wenyuan Li, Joel Schwartz, Petros Koutrakis, Charles DeCarli, Sudha Seshadri, Murray A. Mittleman, Strole, American Heart Association, Apr. 23, 20-15)
Also discussed here: Long-term exposure to air pollution may pose risk to brain structure, cognitive functions (ScienceDaily, Apr. 23, 2015)
And here: Air pollution could increase risk of dementia (Laura Donnelly, The Telegraph, Apr. 23, 2015)

And here: Smog may be harming your brain (Health24, Apr. 24, 2015)

Today we review research on heath impacts on the brain from long term exposure to vehicle emissions from nearby traffic. A slight increase in PM 2.5 (by 2 μg/m3) was associated with a decrease in cerebral brain volume equivalent to an extra year of aging. This suggests the air pollution is associated with structural brain aging, even in dementia, and with a 50% greater risk of having a silent stroke which results from a blockage in the blood vessels supplying the brain.. The mechanism that links the brain to air pollution is unclear but the authors suggest that inflammation from fine particles in the lungs is likely important.

 

brain_2502748b

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How Many Canadians Live Close to Vehicle Emissions from Major Roadways?

Development of a land-use regression model for ultrafine particles in Toronto, Canada (Abstract, Kelly Sabaliauskas , Cheol-Heon Jeong, Xiaohong Yao, Christopher Reali, Tim Sun, Greg J. Evans, Atmospheric Environment, Apr. 2015)

Also discussed here: Traffic emissions may pollute one in three Canadian homes (ScienceDaily, Apr. 21, 2015)
Today we review research into exposure to ultra-fine particles, especially those emitted by old vehicles. One third of all Canadians and half of the population of Toronto are exposed to health risks because they live within 250 m of a major roadway. 21,000 Canadians die prematurely each year because of air pollution and a large part of these deaths result from living too close to major roadways. Policy changes at the provincial and federal levels are needed to target older more polluting cars, as well as at the municipal level, to zoning plans to locate buildings and homes that house those most vulnerable from being close to traffic-related pollution – such as day cares, seniors residences, hospitals and schools.

toronto pm

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How does Traffic-Related Air Pollution Affect Babies’ Brains?

Prenatal and Childhood Traffic-Related Pollution Exposure and Childhood Cognition in the Project Viva Cohort (31 page pdf, Maria H. Harris, Diane R. Gold, Sheryl L. Rifas-Shiman, Steven J. Melly, Antonella Zanobetti, Brent A. Coull, Joel D. Schwartz, Alexandros Gryparis, Itai Kloog, Petros Koutrakis, David C. Bellinger, Roberta F. White, Sharon K. Sagiv, and Emily Oken, Environmental Health Perspectives, Apr. 3, 2015)

 

Today we review the impact of traffic- related air pollution (which includes tire wear particles and dust, as well as noise and tail pipe emissions) on the thinking or cognitive abilities of babies. Results indicate lower IQs (by 7.5 points) –both verbal and non-verbal– for children who, at birth, were living less than 50 m from heavy traffic. It also indicates that exposure during gestation or early childhood is more important than proximity to pollution later in childhood.

 

Category:Educational research

Category:Educational research (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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How Does Air Pollution affect the Blood Pressure of Babies in the Womb?

Air Pollution and Neonatal Blood Pressure (1 page pdf, Lenie van Rossem, Sheryl L. Rifas-Shiman, Steven J. Melly, Itai Kloog, Heike Luttmann-Gibson, Antonella Zanobetti, Brent A. Coull, Joel D. Schwartz, Murray A. Mittleman, Emily Oken, Matthew W. Gillman, Petros Koutrakis, and Diane R. Gold, Environmental Health Perspectives, Apr. 3, 2015)
Today we review research into the impact of air pollutants- both particulate and gaseous- on prenatal blood pressure. Results indicate that particulates (PM2.5) and black carbon do increase systolic blood pressure in the 3rd trimester but not in the second when gaseous pollutants such as Co or NO2 tend to lower it, suggesting different ways that gas or particulate pollution affect the fetus. It is not known if this impact has lasting effects on the baby’s health in later life.

baby bp

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How Does Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter Cause Anxiety in Older Women?

The relation between past exposure to fine particulate air pollution and prevalent anxiety: observational cohort study (9 page pdf, Melinda C Power, Marianthi-Anna Kioumourtzoglou, Jaime E Hart, Olivia I Okereke, Francine Laden, Marc G Weisskopf, British Medical Journal, Mar. 24, 2015)

Also discussed here: Air pollution may be related to anxiety levels in women: study (Kathryn Doyle, Toronto Globe and Mail, Apr. 1, 2015)

And here: Studies link air pollution as risk factor for anxiety and trigger for stroke  (Medical News Today, Mar. 25, 2015)

Today we review research into the impact of exposure to PM2.5 had on anxiety for a large group of older women (mean age 70) over various periods of exposure. Anxiety disorders affect 16% of people worldwide over their lives and 11% have suffered from it in the last year. Results indicate a clear link with 12% more of those exposed to fine particulates showing high anxiety symptoms than those who were not so exposed. Also those who live between 50 and 200 m of busy roadways with traffic-related air pollution were more likely to show these symptoms than those who live farther away. Exposure to larger sized particulates (such as PM10) and exposure within 50 m of roadways did not show greater anxiety symptoms. Because of the people sampled in this study, it is not possible to extend these results to younger women or to men although there is evidence of pollution-stress links for the latter group.

High Anxiety

High Anxiety (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Is Traffic-Related Air Pollution Linked to Breast Cancer?

Long-term exposure to air pollution and mammographic density in the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort (15 page pdf, Stephanie Huynh, My von Euler-Chelpin,Ole Raaschou-Nielsen, Ole Hertel, Anne Tjønneland, Elsebeth Lynge, Ilse Vejborg, Zorana J Andersen, Environmental Health, Apr. 1, 2015)

 

Age-standardised death rates from Breast cance...

Age-standardised death rates from Breast cancer by country (per 100,000 inhabitants). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today we review research in Copenhagen, Denmark that looked at the link between exposure to NO2 from traffic-related air pollution over 10 years and mammographic density (MD) which has clear associations with breast cancer, the leading cause of death among women. Although breast cancer occurs more frequently in industrialized countries and both it and MD are higher in urban areas, a careful analysis revealed no convincing relation between MD and air pollution. As the authors noted, if there is a link with air pollution, it is via another pathway independent of MD.

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

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