Wednesday June 26, 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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Airborne Metal Pollution Linked to Increased Risk of Premature Death in Humans: Study

"Our results indicate that the metals present in the airborne particulate matter could be a key component in the effects of air pollution on mortality", Jacquemin explained

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metal pollution
The scientists constructed a mathematical model which was then used to map the exposure of each participant to the metals under study. Pixabay

Airborne metal pollution is associated with an increased risk of premature death in humans, according to a study. The researchers used wild moss samples to estimate human exposure to airborne metal particles in order to analyse the relationship between atmospheric metal pollution and risk of mortality.

The study, published in the journal Environment International, included data from 11,382 participants living in rural areas throughout France. “There have been very few studies on the health effects of airborne metal pollutants, partly because of technical limitations, such as the lack of stations measuring air pollution,” said Bendicte Jacquemin from Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) in Spain.

“We thought that moss, because of its capacity to retain these metals, would be a useful tool for estimating the atmospheric metal exposure of people living in rural areas,” Jacquemin added.

metal pollution
The final analysis showed that participants exposed to higher atmospheric concentrations of metals of anthropogenic origin had an increased risk of death. Pixabay

The scientists constructed a mathematical model which was then used to map the exposure of each participant to the metals under study. The metals were classified into two groups, according to whether their origin was considered natural or anthropogenic.

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The final analysis showed that participants exposed to higher atmospheric concentrations of metals of anthropogenic origin had an increased risk of death.
“Our results indicate that the metals present in the airborne particulate matter could be a key component in the effects of air pollution on mortality”, Jacquemin explained.

“This means that they are very likely to be exposed to lower levels of air pollution than people living in urban environments, which gives us an idea of the seriousness of the health effects of air pollution, even at relatively low levels of exposure,” she stressed. (IANS)