Air pollution is a widespread problem throughout the world, which can lead to various health problems. Every year, many people die from the negative effects of polluted air. Researchers have now discovered that although the air in the US seems to have become cleaner for decades, thousands of people are still dying annually from the effects of air pollution. The deaths occur, although the current levels of air pollution are actually admitted as safe according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
The scientists of Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health found that air pollution is still costing thousands of people in the US every year. The physicians published the results of their study in the journal "New England Journal of Medicine".
Air is still too much contaminated
The values of air pollution, which were actually classified as safe by the Environmental Protection Agency, still lead to the death of thousands of Americans. The data from the current study show that we still inhale harmful air, emphasizes the author Professor Francesca Dominici of Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health. The air is still too much contaminated.
Analyze data from 60 million patients
For their study, scientists use the data from air monitoring stations and satellites to provide a detailed picture of air pollution. They then analyzed the effects of low air pollution on human mortality with the aid of data from 60 million patients from the year 2000 to the year 2012.
Current safety standards are not enough
If the levels of fine particles were reduced by only one microgram per cubic meter of air, this could explain about 12,000 lives alone in the USAresearchers. The study shows that the current safety standards are simply not secure enough, adds the expert Dominici. Airborne fine particles basically consist of tiny dust and soot particles.
Some people in the US are particularly affected by the negative effects of air pollution. Socially disadvantaged people and African-American men have an increased risk, the authors explain. One of the reasons for this could be that these groups of people live in areas with increased air pollution and usually have poor access to effective health care.
Governments Must Ensure Clean Air
The results show that more must be done to keep the air pollution as low as possible. It is the responsibility of governments to ensure that the air is clean and not a threat to human health, stress the scientists.
Current policy of the Trump government leads to increased pollution
Some experts are of the opinion that the current policy of the Trump government will lead to increased pollution of the air. This is due, for example, to the increased use of coal, a softening of the current standards on permissible emissions and the withdrawal in combating global warming. These factors will lead to more people dying of polluted air in the future, the researchers say. The poor and the socially disadvantaged are most affected.(as)