Monday October 21, 2019

Exposure to Airborne Metal Pollution may Cause Premature Death

There have been very few studies on the health effects of airborne metal pollutants

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Exposue, Airborne Metal Pollution
The metals present in the airborne particulate matter could be a key component in the effects of air pollution on mortality. 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.

Exposue, Airborne Metal Pollution
Airborne metal pollution is associated with an increased risk of premature death in humans. Pixabay

“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.

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.

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

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“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)

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Exposure to Toxic Air Pollutants Linked to Increased Deaths

The researchers found that increases in total deaths are linked to exposure to inhalable particles (PM10) and fine particles (PM2.5) emitted from fires

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Officials of CEED highlighted the fact that health must be the central point or focus for any kind of action on air pollution. Pixabay

Exposure to toxic air pollutants is linked to increased deaths due to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, warn researchers.

Conducted over a 30-year period, the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, analysed data on air pollution and mortality in 652 cities across 24 countries and regions.

The researchers found that increases in total deaths are linked to exposure to inhalable particles (PM10) and fine particles (PM2.5) emitted from fires or formed through atmospheric chemical transformation.

“As there’s no threshold for the association between particulate matter (PM) and mortality, even low levels of air pollution can increase the risk of death,” said Yuming Guo, Professor at Monash University in Australia.

Exposure, Toxic, Air Pollutants
Exposure to toxic air pollutants is linked to increased deaths due to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, warn researchers. Pixabay

“The smaller the airborne particles, the more easily they can penetrate deep into the lungs and absorb more toxic components causing death,” Guo said.

Though concentrations of air pollution in Australia are lower than in other countries, the study found that Australians are more sensitive to particulate matter air pollution and cannot effectively resist its adverse impacts.

“Given the extensive evidence on their health impacts, PM10 and PM2.5 are regulated through the World Health Organisation (WHO) Air Quality Guidelines and standards in major countries,” Guo added.

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The results suggest that the levels of particulate matter below the current air quality guidelines and standards are still hazardous to public health. (IANS)