Air pollution, while abating in most places, poses ‘greatest threat to public health?’

Benxi Steel Industries e

Even with vast improvements in air quality since the ’70s, people haven’t stopped dying from the air they breathe. An analysis published in 2013 from researchers at MIT estimated that about 200,000 premature deaths occur each year in the United States because of fine particulate air pollution. A study published in January in Environmental Health Perspectives reported that daily deaths over a decade in metropolitan Boston peaked on days when concentrations of three common air pollutants were at their highest.

Researchers are now finding that more than the lungs are at risk, as dirty air may in fact be an accomplice to some of the greatest threats to public health, including diabetes, obesity and even dementia.

[S]cientists identified 1,828 people in Denmark with Parkinson’s diagnosed between 1996 and 2009, and compared them with about the same number of randomly selected healthy people. Those exposed to the highest levels of air pollution had the greatest risk of developing the disease. The data, the researchers wrote, “raise concern given the increase in vulnerable aging populations.”

If science bears out the connection between pollution and brain health, or pollution and metabolism, environmental advocates and businesses may have even more reason to push for cleaner air.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: The list of diseases linked to air pollution is growing

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