Monday, 27 May, 2019

Air pollution deaths are double earlier estimates: France's study | #AsiaNewsNetwork

Air pollution ‘kills 9m people a year’			
				 
   by John Von Radowitz 
  Published Air pollution ‘kills 9m people a year’ by John Von Radowitz Published
Samantha Long | 14 March, 2019, 15:32

Air pollution is a bigger global killer than smoking, research has shown.

The number of premature deaths due to air pollution is more than 8.8 million every year, double of previous estimates, a new study found.

The research explores the pollution to dirty air - generally, the particles that are released by exhausts, power plants and factories. microscopic PM 2.5 particles can move toward becoming held up in the lungs and enter the bloodstream, making the condition worse, as per the experts. In Europe alone, the excess number of deaths is almost 800,000 a year and each of these deaths represents an average reduction in life expectancy of more than two years, he said.

"The number of deaths from cardiovascular disease that can be attributed to air pollution is much higher than expected".

Air pollution is killing more people than tobacco and the number of deaths associated with the fine particulate matter in the atmosphere globally is around 8.8 million, twice more than that has been estimated previously, said researchers in a study published on Tuesday.

Average life expectancy was reduced by 1.5 years among people in the United Kingdom dying as a result of air pollution, according to the study.

Professor Münzel is calling on the European Union cut the annual limit of tiny particulate matter in the air from 25 millionths of a gram per cubic metre to 10, which is the level set by the World Health Organisation. Even at this level, several European countries regularly exceed the limit. The new method has taken a multi-faceted look at the issue by combining data on levels of air pollution in different countries, the health impacts of pollution, and numerous factors related to the studied populations, such as population density, age, and health care quality.

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Jos Lelieveld, of the Max-Plank Institute for Chemistry in Mainz and the Cyprus Institute Nicosia, Cyprus.

In Europe, despite more stringent pollution controls than in most other regions, the figure is higher - 133 deaths per 100,000 people. The findings were particularly grim for Eastern Europe, with countries like Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Ukraine reporting an excess death rate of over 200 each year per 100,000 of the population, researchers said.

The link between air pollution and cardiovascular disease, as well as respiratory diseases, is well established.

"In the USA, Australia and Canada the World Health Organization guideline is taken as a basis for legislation, which is also needed in the European Union". "Indeed, new evidence may lead to a further lowering of the World Health Organization guideline in the near future", Münzel said. Between 40 percent to 80 percent of those deaths came from either heart attacks or strokes.

In the latest study, researchers urged world leaders to act swiftly to reduce air pollution, re-evaluate related legislation and switch to clean and renewable energy sources.

Controlling fine dust in the air by limiting agricultural emissions, responsible for emitting a considerable amount of fine particulate matter in the air, might help further reduce the aftermath of air pollution, researchers suggested.

Limitations of the study include the fact there is statistical uncertainty surrounding the estimates, so the size of the effect of air pollution on deaths could be larger or smaller.

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