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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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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Is there a Link between Air Pollution and Autism?

In Utero Exposure to Toxic Air Pollutants and Risk of Childhood Autism (Abstract, von Ehrenstein, Ondine S.; Aralis, Hilary; Cockburn, Myles; Ritz, Beate, Epidemiology, Oct. 14, 2014)

Also discussed here: Researcher adds to evidence linking autism to air pollutants ScienceDaily, Oct. 14, 2014)
Today we review research conducted in North Carolina that looked at the impact of exposure by pregnant mothers to particulate matter produced by industry and vehicle emissions. Results indicate what has been found elsewhere that there is clear evidence of a higher risk of autism in children as a result of exposure during their gestation in the womb. Seasonal peaks of pollution are important also when some places peak in winter (California) and others in summer (North Carolina).

Major brain structures implicated in autism.

Major brain structures implicated in autism. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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