Monday June 17, 2019

Air Pollution Can Reduce Work Productivity: Study

The researchers, however, remain agnostic about the reasons that explain why productivity goes down when pollution goes up, the study noted

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Egypt, pollution, seeds
Air pollution can hamper work productivity. VOA

Besides affecting health, prolonged exposure to air pollution can also reduce employee’s productivity, finds a study.

The study showed that daily fluctuations in pollution did not immediately affect the productivity of workers.

However, a definite drop in output was witnessed when measured for more prolonged exposures of up to 30 days, the researchers said.

 In addition, working in a highly polluted setting for long periods of time could affect your mood or disposition to work.

“Our aim with this research was to broaden the understanding of air pollution in ways that have not been explored. We typically think that firms benefit from lax pollution regulations, by saving on emission control equipment and the like; here we document an adverse effect on the productivity of their work force,” said Alberto Salvo, Associate Professor from the National University of Singapore (NUS).

Delhi. air pollution
A man rides his bicycle in front of the India Gate shrouded in smog in New Delhi, Dec. 26, 2018. VOA

For the study, published in the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, the team gathered information from textile factories in China which involved interviewing managers before obtaining access to data.

They compared how many pieces of fabric each worker produced each day to measures of the concentration of particulate matter that the worker was exposed to over time.

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“We found that an increase in PM2.5, by 10 micrograms per cubic metre sustained over 25 days, reduces daily output by one per cent, harming firms and workers,” said Haoming Liu, Associate Professor of the varsity.

“The effects are subtle but highly significant,” said Liu.

The researchers, however, remain agnostic about the reasons that explain why productivity goes down when pollution goes up, the study noted. (IANS)

Next Story

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)