|English: Vehicles emissions standards in EU, USA and Japan Français : Comparaison des valeurs limites d’émissions des voitures dans l’Union Européenne, au Japon et aux États-Unis. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Also discussed here: Air pollution 'kills at levels well below EU guidelines' (European Lung Foundation, Dec. 12, 2013)
And here: Air pollution 'kills at levels well below EU guidelines' (Medical News Today (MNT), Dec. 9, 2013)
Today we review a comprehensive Europe-wide assessment of the links between traffic emissions, the resulting concentration of pollutants and the mortality rates of people breathing air within 100 m of these roads over the long term. Results indicate a clear association between PM2.5 levels and mortality even when these levels are well below the EU guidelines (annual mean 25 μg/m3), indicating that safe levels need to be reassessed and people need to be kept further away from roadside emissions.
“we aimed to investigate the association between natural-cause mortality and long-term exposure to several air pollutants.”
“investigated two traffic intensity variables—traffic intensity on the nearest road (vehicles per day) and total traffic load on all major roads within a 100 m buffer.”
“for every fine-particle matter increase of 5 micrograms per cubic meter exposure in a year, the risk of dying from natural causes increased by 7%.”
“HRs [hazard ratio] for PM2·5 remained significantly raised even when we included only participants exposed to pollutant concentrations lower than the European annual mean limit value of 25 μg/m3”
"These data, along with the findings from other large cohort studies, suggest that further public and environmental health policy interventions are necessary and have the potential to reduce morbidity and mortality across Europe. Movement towards more stringent guidelines, as recommended by WHO, should be an urgent priority."
“EU limits should move toward WHO recommendations. The current World Health Organization (WHO) guideline is just 10 micrograms per cubic meter”
“Long-term exposure to fine particulate air pollution was associated with natural-cause mortality, even within concentration ranges well below the present European annual mean limit value.”