Friday October 18, 2019

Exposure to Severe Air Pollution Can Lead to Birth Defects

"It is unclear yet what is causing these profound effects, but we speculate that the size of nanoparticles or even the acidity may be the culprit," Zhang said

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Pollution
A number of reports have stated that air pollution has been increasing exponentially in many cities in the country, with Delhi being cited as the world's most polluted capital city. VOA
Exposure to severe air pollution can cause birth defects and even fatalities during pregnancy, new research has found.
According to the World Health Organization, nine out of 10 people worldwide breathe air containing a high level of pollutants, and one of every 9 global deaths can be attributed to exposure to air pollution, totalling over 7 million premature deaths a year.
The research, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed definitive proof of decreased fetal survival rates, and also shortened gestation rates that can result in smaller body weight, in addition to damage to brains, hearts and other organs in the adult rat models.
The research team used female rats and examined the adverse health effects of exposure to fine particulate matter consisting of ammonium sulfate commonly found in many locations around the world.
During winter months in India and China, where severe haze occurs frequently, fine particulate matter levels were especially high at several hundred micrograms per cubic meter, said the researchers.
India, air pollution, WHO, diwali, Pollution, Delhi, egypt, air quality
A bird flies past the Humayun’s Tomb shrouded in smog in New Delhi, India. VOA
“People typically believe that ammonium sulfate may not be terribly toxic, but our results show large impacts on female pregnant rats,” said Renyi Zhang, Professor at Texas A&M University in the US.
“It is unclear yet what is causing these profound effects, but we speculate that the size of nanoparticles or even the acidity may be the culprit,” Zhang said.
Sulfate is mainly produced from coal burning, which is a major energy source for much of the world in both developed and developing countries. Ammonium is derived from ammonia, which is produced from agricultural, automobile and animal emissions.
“So this certainly represents a major problem worldwide,” Zhang added. (IANS)

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Thai Authorities Issue Alert over Increase in Air Pollution in Bangkok

The country's authorities consider anything exceeding 50 µg/m3 to be unhealthy, whereas the World Health Organization recommends

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Thai, Authorities, Air Pollution
The pollution control department, in a statement said that PM2.5 - particles 2.5 microns or less in diameter - levels were between 40 and 78 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3) in the capital and its surrounding cities. Pixabay

Thai authorities on Monday issued an alert over an increase in air pollution in Bangkok and recommended the people to exercise precaution, especially minors, the elderly and the sick.

The pollution control department, in a statement said that PM2.5 – particles 2.5 microns or less in diameter – levels were between 40 and 78 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3) in the capital and its surrounding cities.

The country’s authorities consider anything exceeding 50 µg/m3 to be unhealthy, whereas the World Health Organization recommends that PM2.5 levels should not exceed 25 µg/m3, according to Efe news.

The department, in a statement, urged people in higher risk categories, such as children, pregnant women, the elderly and the sick to stay indoors.

Thai, Authorities, Air Pollution
Thai authorities on Monday issued an alert over an increase in air pollution in Bangkok and recommended the people to exercise precaution, especially minors, the elderly and the sick. Pixabay

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha tweeted encouraging people to use masks and called for construction firms and factories to cooperate to reduce air pollution.

According to the authorities, the increase in pollution is due to the scarcity of rainfall in recent days.

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Chengdu (China), Hanoi, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Seoul on Monday topped the list of the major cities with the highest levels of air pollution, according to Air Visual, a platform that measures air pollution around the world. (IANS)