Particulate Pollution, Narrow Arteries and Strokes

Particulate Air Pollution and Carotid Artery Stenosis (Letters, Jonathan D. Newman, George D. Thurston, Kevin Cromar, Yu Guo, Caron B. Rockman, Edward A. Fisher, Jeffrey S. Berger, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Mar. 24, 2015)

 
Also discussed here: Pollution levels linked to stroke-related narrowing of arteries (ScienceDaily. Mar. 16, 2015)
Today we review research into the risk of strokes arising from particulate matter narrowing arteries leading to the heart. Results indicated a significant link between those living in areas with high levels of PM2.5 and this arterial narrowing which may be due to interaction between the particulates and the cholesterol in the blood leading to inflammation and a greater likelihood of blood clots forming.

 

English: The internal carotid and vertebral ar...

English: The internal carotid and vertebral arteries. Right side. Some of the branches labeled. Español: Arterias carótida interna y vertebral. Lado derecho. Algunas de las ramas están señaladas. Polski: Przebieg tętnicy szyjnej zewnętrznej z kolejnymi odgałęzieniami. Русский: Артерии шеи. Вид справа. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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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

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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

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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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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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The Future of the World’s Urban Economy and Carbon Emissions

Cities and the New Climate Economy: The Transformative Role of Global Urban Growth (68 page pdf, Graham Floater and Philipp Rode, New Climate Economy Cities Paper 01. LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science, Jul. 2014)

Today we review a report on the future likely for the globe’s urban areas in terms of growth, their increasing share of the world economy, population and greenhouse gas emissions. A “Three C” model is proposed that shows the advantages of cities adopting compact urban growth, connected infrastructure and coordinated governance that already has shown itself in cities such as Stockholm which has seen a 41% economic increase while reducing carbon emissions by 35% over the last 7 years.

stockholm emissions

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