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Air pollution linked to nearly 400,000 premature deaths  Fine particulate matter pollution caused 399,000 premature deaths in EU countries in 2014, according to the most recent estimates on the health impact of air pollution published Wednesday by the European Environment Agency (EEA).

Mothers’ exposure to air pollution tied to cellular changes in kids Women who breathe polluted air during pregnancy have babies with greater signs of “ageing” in their cells when they’re born compared to babies whose mothers breathed cleaner air, a new study finds.

Graded Response Action Plan to help improve Delhi’s air quality in force from today  India’s national capital will pin its hopes on the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) for the air quality to improve.

One million premature deaths linked to ozone air pollution Scientists at the University of York’s Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) have released new figures showing long-term exposure to ozone air pollution is linked to one million premature deaths per year due to respiratory diseases – more than double previous estimates.

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Air pollution linked to osteoporosis-related bone fractures

X-ray scan

Exposure to air pollution increases the risk of bone loss and fractures.

Beyond the risks of cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and even cancer, living in a highly polluted zone for a significant time could increase the risk of osteoporosis-related bone fracture, especially in older people.

This is according to two new American studies published in the journal The Lancet Planetary Health.

Exposure to high levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in the atmosphere could accelerate bone density loss and increase the risk of fracture, say researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, New York.

Like the toxic substances in cigarette smoke, air pollution could cause inflammation and oxidative stress, leading to bone loss.

The researchers came to this conclusion by means of two parallel studies. In the first, they studied hospital admissions between 2003 and 2010 for osteoporosis-related fractures in patients over 65 years old. The results indicated that even small increases in fine particle concentrations could lead to an increase in bone fractures in older adults.

In the second study, the scientists followed 692 men from low-income backgrounds in the region of Boston over the same period. Participants’ average age was 47. They found that adults living in areas with high levels of fine particles and black carbon, a pollutant from automotive emissions, had lower levels of parathyroid hormone, a key calcium and bone-related hormone.

The researchers also found that participants in the study had greater decreases in bone density than men exposed to lower levels of these pollutants.

In April, the same team of experts published research reporting that B vitamins (50 milligrams of B6, 2.5 milligrams of B9, 1 milligram of B12) could diminish the toxic effects of air pollution on the immune and cardiovascular systems. However, scientists are currently unsure whether the benefits of B vitamins extend to bone loss.

The researchers report that there are an estimated two million osteoporosis-related bone fractures in the United States each year.

The researchers conclude that, like smoking and lack of physical exercise, air pollution is a risk factor for bone fractures.

 

via Air pollution linked to osteoporosis-related bone fractures | The Citizen

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People with certain blood types appear to be more at risk from air pollution

463-blood-type-pollution_1024The kind of blood you have could increase or decrease your risk of having a heart attack in response to high levels of air pollution, new research suggests.

A variant ABO gene – which can only be found in A, B, and AB blood types – has been linked with elevated risk of heart attack during periods of significant air pollution, whereas people with blood type O show lower risk.

“We wondered, if someone has a specific variation in this ABO gene, are they more or less likely to experience a heart attack in times of higher pollution?” says clinical epidemiologist Benjamin Horne from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Horne’s team analysed data from Intermountain Healthcare patients seen between 1993 and 2007, and identified a subset of patients that experienced an acute coronary syndrome (ACS) event corresponding with short-term exposure to high PM2.5 levels – a measure of concentration of fine, inhalable particles with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres and smaller.

When they cross-matched the data, they found that carriers of an ABO variant called rs687289 A allele had a marginally higher risk of heart trouble during high PM2.5 concentrations.

“The primary mutation we studied differentiates between O blood types and non-O, which includes positive and negative A, B, and AB blood types,” says Horne.

“The one that’s been found in genetic studies to be lower risk is O. The other three were higher risk.”

That said, everybody’s level of risk appears to rise when PM2.5 concentration rises above the threshold of 25 micrograms of fine particles per cubic metre of air – it’s just that the risk goes up more for people with non-O blood types.

“Two years ago we published findings that showed once you go above that, each additional 10 micrograms of pollution per cubic metre of air provided substantially higher risks,” says Horne.

“At levels higher than 25 micrograms per cubic metre of pollution, the increase in risk is linear, while below that level there’s little if any difference in risk.”

For each 10 additional micrograms of PM2.5 particles per cubic metre, risk for people with non-O blood types goes up by 25 percent, whereas for people with O blood it only goes up by 10 percent.

It’s not the only time recently that blood types have been linked with these kind of cardiac problems.

A study presented in April analysed more than 1.3 million people and also found that people with non-O blood types stood a higher risk of cardiovascular events including heart attacks and stroke, although it did not establish what causal mechanisms were behind the pattern.

In reference to the latest research, the team says the new findings aren’t anything to panic over, but are worth being aware of.

“In the information we provide to our patients about pollution, we try to stress that they can do something about it to reduce their risks,” Horne says.

“Stay indoors out of pollution. Exercise indoors. And make sure they’re compliant with taking their heart medication to reduce their risk.”

The findings were presented this week at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2017 conference in Anaheim, California.

via People with certain blood types appear to be more at risk from air pollution – ScienceAlert

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Air pollution may increase osteoporosis-related bone fracture risk

Adults, particularly those with a low income and aged at least 65 years, have an increased risk for bone fracture and osteoporosis-related loss of bone mineral density with long-term exposure to air pollution, according to findings published in The Lancet Planetary Health.

“Decades of careful research has documented the health risks of air pollution, from cardiovascular and respiratory disease, to cancer and impaired cognition, and now osteoporosis,” Andrea Baccarelli, MD, PhD, chair and Leon Hess professor of environmental health sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, said in a press release. “Among the many benefits of clean air, our research suggests, are improved bone health and a way to prevent bone fractures.”

Baccarelli and colleagues conducted two independent studies to determine the relationship between ambient concentrations of particulate matter and bone health.

In the first study, researchers evaluated data from 9.2 million Medicare enrollees aged at least 65 years from the Northeast/mid-Atlantic U.S. between 2003 and 2010 to determine the association of long-term concentrations of particulate matter less than 2.5 µm (PM2.5) and osteoporosis-related fracture hospital admissions.
Rates of bone fracture admissions were higher in communities with higher annual PM2.5 concentrations compared with lower concentrations, after controlling for covariates. The rate for hospital admission for bone fracture was 4.1% higher with each 1 interquartile range (IQR) increase in PM2.5 (RR = 1.041; 95% CI, 1.03-1.051).

In the second study, researchers evaluated data from the Boston Area Community Health/Bone Study (BACH/Bone Study) on 692 men (mean age, 46.7 years) with low-income to determine the association between long-term black carbon and PM2.5 concentrations with serum calcium homeostasis biomarkers and annualized BMD over 8 years.

Concentrations of parathyroid hormone were lower in participants living in locations with higher compared with lower concentrations of black carbon. Further, serum parathyroid concentrations were negatively associated with PM2.5 exposure.

BMD measures at baseline were not associated with PM2.5 or black carbon concentrations in participants’ residential areas. However, during the 8-year follow-up, participants living in areas with higher concentrations of ambient particles had higher loss of BMD at multiple anatomical sites. Femoral neck BMD decreased by 0.08% per year and ultradistal radius decreased by 0.06% per year with each 1 IQR increase in 1-year black carbon concentration at baseline.

“Our findings support an association between long-term exposure to particulate air pollution and reduced bone health, particularly among low-income older individuals,” the researchers wrote. “Improvements in particulate air pollution concentrations could contribute to substantial better bone health, prevent bone fractures, and reduce the health costs associated with fractures, particularly in elderly and low-income populations.”

In an accompanying editorial, Tuan V. Nguyen, PhD, principal research fellow and head of the genetics and epidemiology of osteoporosis lab, osteoporosis and bone biology division at Garvan Institute of Medical Research, St. Vincent’s Clinical School, University of New South Wales in Australia, wrote that, “Osteoporosis and its consequence of fragility fracture represent one of the most important public health problems worldwide because fracture is associated with increased mortality.

“It is now clear that genetic factors account for a modest proportion of fracture cases and bone density variance, suggesting that an environmental profile in the form of the exposure is likely the main driver of the disease,” he wrote. “Conceptually, an individual’s risk of fracture is grounded by the individual’s genome and modified by the individual’s exposome. The delineation of the interaction between genome and exposome has the potential to transform our thinking about the etiology of osteoporosis.” – by Amber Cox

via Air pollution may increase osteoporosis-related bone fracture risk

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Delhi Smog: Gurugram Schools to Remain Closed Till November 11

In view of the unbearable air pollution, all government and private schools in Gurugram will remain closed on November 10 and 11, news agency ANI reported on Thursday.

The Gurugram district administration undertook a slew of measures after high levels of PM 2.5 were found
Besides closing down schools, all brick kilns, hot mix plants and stone crushers have also been shut down till further orders.
Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had also directed all schools to remain closed till Sunday.
Earlier in  the day, the Gurugram district administration undertook a slew of measures  after high levels of PM 2.5 were found. Besides closing down schools, all brick kilns, hot mix plants and stone crushers have also been shut down till further orders.
Apart from it, the police have been directed to take swift action against visibly polluting vehicles along with strict enforcement of PUC (pollution under control) norms.
Earlier on Wednesday, Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had also directed all schools of national capital to remain closed till Sunday.
“Can’t compromise with the health of children. All schools including private and government will remain closed till Sunday for all the classes,” Sisodia had said in a series of tweets.
“The air pollution has become unbearable affecting all. It has engulfed the city. The reasons for this may be varied from stubble burning in Haryana and Punjab to vehicular/ construction pollution but the fact remains that it is affecting the health of Delhi’s citizens,” an official order from Sisodia’s office had said yesterday.

via Delhi Smog: Gurugram Schools to Remain Closed Till November 11 – India.com

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DELHI AIR POLLUTION IS AT AN ALARMING LEVEL

delhipollution_nov7On Tuesday the Minister of State in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Mahesh Sharma, expressed concern over the alarming levels of pollution in the national capital region and said the government was taking preventive measures to tackle it.

Sharma told, “It is a matter of concern as the pollution is at an alarming level in Delhi. The Government is concerned about it and is monitoring it continuously. Preventive measures are being taken. This is because of the change in weather from four directions yesterday.”

He further said the government had advised water sprinkling particularly at construction sites.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia called upon the Centre for its intervention to tackle the pollution menace.

“Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had written letters to the Central Government in August seeking its intervention. He wrote that this problem would again prevail in November. But the Centre didn’t respond. We are requesting the Central Government to take some action. The reason for smog is the burning of stubble in Haryana and Punjab. Until the Central Government does not make policies together with Delhi, nothing will happen in Haryana and Punjab,” he told the media.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, describing the city as a “gas chamber”, attributed the pollution to crop burning in adjoining states.

“Delhi has become a gas chamber. Every year this happens during this part of year. We have to find a soln to crop burning in adjoining states,” Kejriwal tweeted today.

The national capital on Tuesday woke up to ‘severe’ air quality due to a thick blanket of smog.

The rapid fall in air quality and visibility began last evening as moisture combined with pollutants shrouded the city in a thick cover of haze.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) by 10 a.m. recorded ‘severe’ air quality, meaning the intensity of pollution was extreme.

A ‘severe’ Air Quality Index comes with the warning that air affects healthy people and seriously impacts those with existing respiratory or cardiovascular diseases.

weatherchart1new

via Delhi air pollution is at an alarming level – Eastern Eye

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Higher air pollution in Chinese cities tied to higher mortality rate

New research presented today at APHA’s 2017 Annual Meeting and Expo examined the burden of air pollution and its association with mortality in Chinese cities. The study by researchers at Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health showed a significant correlation between higher air quality index concentrations and higher mortality rates. The study is the first to provide strong evidence of the burden of air pollution in major Chinese cities, as well as the impacts of air quality and climate change on urban population mortality.

Study authors examined daily air quality data from more than 100 cities in China between 2012 and 2015 and compared the data with mortality numbers available from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Air quality was measured with the air quality index, a pollution yardstick that includes ground-level ozone, particle pollution, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. A higher air quality index value indicates a greater amount of pollution.

When researchers compared higher air quality index valued cities with mortality rates, they found that the two measures were significantly correlated. They also confirmed that cities with lower air quality index values had lower mortality rates. This correlation remained significant after researchers adjusted for covariates. Significantly, more than 5 percent of the variation in all-cause mortality could be explained by the difference in air quality index across China.

“Our research shows that air pollution is not just significantly linked to health problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and asthma, but also to a significantly higher rate of death,” said Longjian Liu, MD, PhD, MSc, who presented the study and serves as a visiting associate professor at Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health and associate professor at Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health. “People living in cities across the globe need to know how air pollution can harm them long term. They are the ones who will pay the price of poor air quality if action isn’t taken to clean up their air.”

The study observed that the monthly average air quality index of cities differed significantly by temperature, with the highest air quality index values occurring in winter and the lowest in summer. The study also showed significant geographic clustering of cities by air quality index, with the highest values in northern cities and the lowest in southeast China.

Researchers also found that heat index, precipitation and sunshine hours were negatively associated with air quality index.

via Higher air pollution in Chinese cities tied to higher mortality rate — ScienceDaily

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Delhi Air Pollution: CM Arvind Kejriwal Asks Sisodia to Shut Delhi Schools For a Few Days

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has also appealed to the Delhi government to shut down outdoor sports and other such activities in schools keeping in view the harmful impact of air pollution on the health of the children.

Delhi-pollution

Thick smog cover at the Rashtrapati Bhawan area on Tuesday morning.

New Delhi: On a day when Delhi woke up to a thick cover of smog and worrying levels of air pollution, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked his deputy and Education Minister Manish Sisodia to consider shutting schools for a few days in the city.

Delhi was alarmed by a ‘severe’ air quality on Tuesday with a thick haze blanketing the city as pollution levels breached permissible standards by multiple times.

“Considering high level of pollution, I have requested Manish Sisodia, Education Minister, to consider closing schools for few days,” Kejriwal tweeted.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has also appealed to the Delhi government to shut down outdoor sports and other such activities in schools keeping in view the harmful impact of air pollution on the health of the children.

The rapid fall in air quality and visibility began on Monday evening as moisture combined with pollutants shrouded the city in a thick cover of haze. With the morning air reaching severe levels, it has become all the more hazardous for school and college students and office goers.

By 10 am on Tuesday, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recorded ‘severe’ air quality, meaning the intensity of pollution was extreme.

While an Air Quality Index (AQI) between 0-50 is considered good, Delhi’s average AQI was 411 at 9am on Tuesday morning, which is read as severe. According to the IMD, visibility also took a plunge and it was way below 200 metres.

Kejriwal has also blamed the rising pollution levels on crop burning in adjoining states. In a tweet, he said: “Delhi has become a gas chamber. Every year this happens during this part of year. We have to find a soln to crop burning in adjoining states (sic).”

via Delhi Air Pollution: CM Arvind Kejriwal Asks Sisodia to Shut Delhi Schools For a Few Days

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Over 1,500 deaths a year in Ireland due to poor air quality

IRISH air is quietly killing its people.

A new report by the Environmental Protection Agency has revealed that Ireland has repeatedly breached air pollution standards set by the World Health Organization and that these breaches have resulted in over 1500 premature deaths a year.

The report shows that our home heating habits and over-reliance on cars are the primary contributors to our bad air quality.

With the cold months ahead, it’s inevitable that both central heating and the burning of coal for the open fire are set to become a regular fixture within Irish homes, but while that may be keeping you warm and cosy, it can also be significantly compromising your health.

While Ireland has remained within EU air quality levels – something the UK have repeatedly failed to do – it hasn’t met WHO, EEA or the Protection of Human Health criteria.

One particular pollutant that broke WHO rules is particle matter, which can lead to respiratory diseases like asthma.

Speaking on the matter, Pat Kenny from the Environmental Protection Agency said: “When we compare our air quality levels to those recommended by the World Health Organisation, the situation is a bit more complex. We face challenges in reducing our levels of particulate matter and ozone to below those recommended by the WHO Air Quality Guidelines.”

The agency said the worst offending places last year were Longford in Co Meath and Ennis, Co Clare.

However, monitoring sites in Finglas, Marino, Rathmines and Coleraine Street in Dublin, Heatherton Park, Cork,
Claremorris, Co Mayo, and Bray, Co Wicklow, also picked up pollution levels above World Health Organisation guidelines.

The ban on smoky coal in cities is expected to be extended nationwide next year.

Traditional fossil fuel burning remains a large contributor to air pollution with increasing evidence that farming is a large contributor.

A new Ambient Air Monitoring Programme is also launching today which aims to provide a 48 hour air-quality forecast to highlight the issue and problem areas.

via Over 1,500 deaths a year in Ireland due to poor air quality

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