Air Quality and Health

Air Quality and Health


This is Jeffrey Drazen for the New England Journal of Medicine. Exposure to air pollution is associated with
increased rates of asthma, ischemic heart disease, and even death. To protect the health of the population, the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets National Ambient Air Quality Standards, or
NAAQS, for air pollutants such as fine particulate matter, which we call PM2.5, and ozone. But are current standards stringent enough? Investigators analyzed a cohort of over 60
million Medicare beneficiaries from 2000 to 2012 and linked all-cause mortality data to
annual averages of PM2.5 and ozone at the zip-code level. With over 460 million person-years of follow-up,
and after controlling for demographics, Medicaid eligibility, and area-level covariates, they
found that each increase in PM2.5 of 10 micrograms per cubic meter was associated with a 7.3%
increase in all-cause mortality, and each increase in ozone of 10 parts per billion
was associated with a 1.1% increase in all-cause mortality. When the analysis was restricted to exposures
below current NAAQS standards, the same increases in PM2.5 and ozone were associated with a
13.6% and 1.0% increase in mortality, respectively. Males, Blacks, and people with Medicaid eligibility
had an increased risk of death. The authors conclude that there is evidence
of adverse effects of PM2.5 and ozone exposures at concentrations even below current national
standards. Full study results are available at NEJM.org.

1 Comment

  • Jack Walsh says:

    Well a pleasant surprise as to the data and the acknowledgement of "Nano Particulates" in a causal relationship
    with Morbidity and Mortality. Now, a step further and acknowledge the "Nano Particulates from Global "Geo Engineering"
    and "Climate Engineering" projects. That are used in "Stratospheric Aerosol Injection". The "Nano Particulate" matter of Aluminum, Barium and Strontium toxic laden compounds. That exert a Regional "Weather Modification" effect. Is coming with a significant negative Human health impact. If you desire a cleaner air, lowered morbidity and mortality. Stop all Global "Geo Engineering" projects. In turn a healthier Human population

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