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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Where are Europe’s Air Pollution Hotspots and How are they being Cleaned Up?

Modelling street level PM10 concentrations across Europe: source apportionment and possible futures (15 page pdf, Kiesewetter, G., Borken-Kleefeld, J., Schöpp, W., Heyes, C., Thunis, P., Bessagnet, B., Terrenoire, E., Fagerli, H., Nyiri, A., and Amann, M., Atmos. Chem. Phys., Feb. 13, 2015)

Also discussed here: Clearing up Europe’s air pollution hotspots (News, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Feb 19, 2015)
Today we review modeling sources of ambient air pollution across Europe down to the street canyon scale (using the GAINS, model developed by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis) as measured by 1850 monitoring stations (including 300 traffic stations) and then applying various policy scenarios. Results indicate the while most areas show improvement over the next two decades, some continue to remain below EU air quality limits, specifically, southern Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, northern Italy, and Bulgaria. Adherence to these limits require more than vehicle emission controls such as introduction of low emission zones, improved road materials and road dust removal and eliminating studded tires and controlling emissions from home heating fuels such as wood burning.

europe hot spots

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Global Estimates of Fine Particulate Matter from Space

The View from Afar – Satellite-Derived Estimates of Global PM2.5 (1 page pdf, Environmental Health Perspectives, Feb. 2, 2015)

Today we review research into recent global estimates of PM2.5 using space based sensors. Over the last decade, a trend toward worsening conditions in South and East Asia (with 51% more of the population exposed to pollution above WHO guidelines rose to 70%) and slightly improved conditions in the eastern USA and Canada (where the exposed population declined from 62% to 19%) was estimated from these satellite observations at a 10 km resolution. The authors expect in future that similar estimates may be made of NO2 concentrations at an improved resolution which may be more helpful in pin pointing urban pollution conditions and their sources.

pm for USa china

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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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What is the Health Impact from Short Term Exposure to a Combination of Air Pollutants?

A Comparison of Risk Estimates for the Effect of Short-Term Exposure to PM, NO2 and CO on Cardiovascular Hospitalizations and Emergency Department Visits: Effect Size Modeling of Study Findings (14 page pdf, Ellen Kirrane, David Svendsgaard, Mary Ross, Barbara Buckley, Allen Davis, Doug Johns 1, Dennis Kotchmar, Thomas C. Long, Thomas J. Luben, Genee Smith and Lindsay Wichers Stanek, Atmopshere, Dec. 6, 2011)

Today we review research that statistically examines the degree to which one pollutant in combination with one or two others (CO, NO2 and PM) on a short term basis (a few days after exposure) affects health impacts and how much correlation exists between pollutants in causing these impacts. Results indicate that there is an association between NO2 and PM as one might expect this from transportation emissions and also the association between NO2 and cardiovascular diseases. The authors recommend a greater density of monitors to measure the pollutant concentrations and to isolate the influence of each.

PM CO and NO2 correlations

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Another Use of SmartPhones to Monitor Traffic-Related Air Pollution (TRAP)

Measuring fine dust concentration via smartphone (ScienceDaily, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, May 23, 2014)
Also discussed here: Enabling low-cost particulate matter measurement for participatory sensing scenarios (Abstract, Matthias Budde, Rayan El Masri, Till Riedel ,Michael Beigl, Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia, Dec. 2, 2013)

And here:

(2 min You-Tube, KIT Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, May 21, 2014)

Today we review PhD research from Germany that describes how a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS)dust sensor can be attached to a smart phone, making use of its camera to measure the scattering of light and estimate the concentration of particulate matter (PM10) with an accuracy of one microgram per cubic meter. Readings may then be transmitted via cell phone to a central point where a number of other phone measurements can be mapped in near real-time and add to the more sophisticated (and expensive) observations from the few government air quality stations.

smart phone dust sensor

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