Thursday, September 26, 2013

Better air reduces death and disability rates: Study

Death and disability from air pollution down 35 percent in the U.S.

Air pollution affects hospital admissions,
mortality rates and cardiovascular disease,
research has shown.
A study by BYU professor Arden Pope concludes that improvements in U.S. air quality since 1990 have sparked a 35 percent reduction in deaths and disability specifically attributable to air pollution. Pope was a member of a large research team who co-authored the study for the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"Some of the best news relative to the air pollution research over the last few years is the evidence that our reducing air pollution in the United States has resulted in measurable improvements in life expectancy and public health," said Pope in a press release.

It's no coincidence that 1990 is a point of reference in air quality research. In the late '80s, a steel mill in Utah Valley shut down for one year due to a labor strike. Pope spotted a research opportunity that found big problems caused by small particles floating in the air. Known as "particulate matter," this kind of pollution is produced by combustion of car engines, power plants and steel mills.

Air pollution impacts lungs, heart and brain

Pope and other scholars found in successive studies that dirty air impacted hospital admissions, mortality rates, and cardiovascular disease – including the risk of heart attacks.

"One of the biggest surprises of this research was that air pollution contributed to cardiovascular disease and not just respiratory disease," Pope said. "In fact, we're learning that air pollution not only impacts our lungs but it impacts our heart and our brain."

The research caught the attention of scientists and regulators, which lead to automobile emissions standards and cleaner manufacturing processes.

Now a world-renowned expert on the topic, Pope was asked this year to evaluate the credibility of an intriguing study on China's air quality by scientists at MIT, Peking University, Tsinghua University and Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Editors of the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science invited Pope to write a commentary that accompanied a research paper on China's Huai River policy.

The Huai River runs west to east and is regarded as the geographical dividing line between northern and southern China. In winter, the Chinese government provides free coal to residents north of the river to heat their homes.

In denying coal to people who live south of the river, the Chinese government actually did them a favor. The researchers found that air pollution is 55 percent lower on the south side. They also estimated that life expectancy was five years lower on the north side because of the extra air pollution.

"While their results tend to be a bit higher than what we'd expect based on the rest of the literature, it's still roughly consistent with what we would expect based on the other studies that we've been doing," Pope said.

Source: Brigham Young University 

Reduce risks by improving indoor air at home and at work

Electrocorp air filtration systems
provide cleaner air 24/7.
We spend most of our time indoors, breathing air that may be polluted with chemicals, particulate matter, pollen, mold, bacteria, viruses, odors and fumes. At home and at work, a good ventilation system, the lack of or safe use of hazardous substances and a high-quality indoor air cleaner will help keep the air cleaner and healthier.

Electrocorp has designed a variety of air cleaners for industrial and commercial purposes, which feature one of the most comprehensive air filtration systems with many pounds of activated carbon, HEPA and optional UV germicidal filtration.

The long-lasting air cleaners can remove airborne chemicals, gases, fumes, particles, dust, odors, biological contaminants and more, with a small footprint and energy-saving design.

For more information, contact Electrocorp today. For home air purifiers using the same type of air cleaning system, contact AllerAir and read more on the AllerAir blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment