Friday, February 11, 2011

Outdoor air pollution and chronic illnesses

The effects of outdoor air pollution on chronic illnesses (Mcgill J Med. 2009 January; 12(1): 58–64.)

Olympic stadium in Montreal during clear and smog-filled skies

Key Quotes:

"The conclusion is clear: short-term elevations of ambient air pollution cause a variety of acute health events, especially in certain subgroups of the population, such as the elderly, children, and those who are impaired physiologically (e.g., congestive heart failure, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease)"

"Our analysis of the published studies showed a 6% increase in non-accidental mortality for every increase of 10 μg/m3 of fine particles, independent of age, gender, and geographic region"

"long-term exposure to fine particles was associated log-linearly with an increased risk of mortality from lung cancer (range: 15%-21% per a 10 μg/m3 increase) and overall cardiovascular mortality (range: 12%-14% per a 10 μg/m3 increase)"

"we found living close to highways or major urban roads appears to be associated with elevated risks of these three health outcomes"

"exposure to fine particles at the current ambient level in Canada would lead to approximately 5,000 deaths each year nationwide. Among these deaths, 1,100 deaths would be from lung cancer and 2,700 deaths would be from cardiovascular diseases"

"The overall evidence from the past and present epidemiological studies strongly supports tighter standards for air pollution, especially particulate pollutants, in Canada and in other countries."

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