Saturday December 14, 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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Low Blood Oxygen Increases the Risk of Premature Death in Children

Children with Low Blood Oxygen Levels are eight times more likely to die than those with normal blood oxygen

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Children
Blood Oxygen level is the amount of oxygen carried by red blood cells from the lungs to the rest of the body -- low blood oxygen damages cells and can lead to death in Children Primarily. Pixabay

Low Blood Oxygen is more common in sick Children than previously thought, and increases their risk of premature death by eight times compared to those with normal blood oxygen, a new research has found.

The study, published in Lancet’s EclinicalMedicine journal, shows that low blood oxygen is common not only in pneumonia, but also in many other conditions.

“Low blood oxygen is particularly common in newborn infants, especially those who are premature or have very difficult births,” said Hamish Graham from Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Australia.

For the study, Graham worked with colleagues in Nigeria to record the blood oxygen levels of more than 23,000 children admitted to 12 medium-sized hospitals.

“Your blood oxygen level is the amount of oxygen carried by red blood cells from the lungs to the rest of the body — low blood oxygen damages cells and can lead to death,” Graham said.

“Our study found that one in four newborns and one in 10 children in hospitals had low blood oxygen, and these children were eight times more likely to die than those with normal blood oxygen,” Graham added.

Children
Low Blood Oxygen is more common in sick Children than previously thought, and increases their risk of premature death by eight times compared to those with normal blood oxygen. Pixabay

The researchers hope the findings would encourage policy makers and healthcare workers in low and middle income countries to increase the use of oxygen measuring tools and oxygen therapy.

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“Our modellings suggest that better use of oxygen monitoring and therapy in the 12 highest mortality countries in the world could prevent up to 148,000 child pneumonia deaths annually,” Graham said. (IANS)