New York, Dec 27: Older women exposed to low levels of air pollution, even for a short period, are likely to be at higher risk of premature death, according to a new study. Previous studies have shown that fine inhalable particles (PM2.5) and ozone — particularly ‘warm-season ozone’, which occurs from April to September — are linked with increased mortality rates.
Short-term air pollution exposures up death risk in elderly
The new findings showed that for each 10 µg/m3 (microgram per cubic metre air) daily increase in PM2.5 and 10 ppb (parts per billion) daily increase in warm-season ozone, the daily mortality rate increased by 1.05 per cent and 0.51 per cent, respectively. While this may seem a small increase, the health impact is enormous if it’s applied to the whole population of seniors.
“We found that the mortality rate increases almost linearly as air pollution increases. Any level of air pollution, no matter how low, is harmful to human health,” said Francesca Dominici, Professor from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (IANS)