Air pollution responsible for 1.5 million additional premature deaths per year: study


Fine particulate matter pollution (PM2.5) could be responsible for an additional 1.5 million premature deaths worldwide each year, according to a study which found that low levels of air pollution are dangerous thought so before.

According to the most recent estimates from the World Health Organization, more than 4.2 million people die prematurely each year due to long-term exposure to fine particulate outdoor air pollution known as PM2.5. .

The latest study, published in the journal Science Advances, suggests that the annual number of worldwide deaths from outdoor PM2.5 may be significantly higher than previously thought.

Indeed, the researchers found that the risk of mortality increased even at very low levels of outdoor PM2.5, which had not previously been recognized as potentially fatal.

These microscopic toxins cause a range of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and cancers.

“We found that outdoor PM2.5 may be responsible for up to 1.5 million additional deaths globally each year due to effects at very low concentrations that were not previously appreciated,” said Scott Weichenthal, associate professor at McGill University. in Canada and the main author of the article.

The researchers combined data on the health and mortality of seven million Canadians collected over a period of twenty-five years with information on the levels of outdoor PM2.5 concentrations across the country.

Canada is a country with low levels of PM2.5 outdoors, making it the perfect place to study health impacts at low concentrations.

Knowledge gained in Canada was then used to update the lower end of the scale used to describe changes in mortality risk as a function of outdoor PM2.5 levels.

The study revealed a better understanding of the impact of air pollution on global health.

The WHO recently set ambitious new guidelines for annual average air pollution from outdoor fine particles, halving its previous recommendations from concentrations of 10 to 5 micrograms (ug) per cubic meter.

“One of the takeaways is that the global health benefits of adhering to the new WHO guidelines are likely much greater than previously thought,” Weichenthal said.

“The next steps are to stop focusing only on particle mass and start looking more closely at particle composition, as some particles are likely more harmful than others,” he added.

Better understanding can allow us to be much more effective in designing regulatory interventions to improve population health, the researchers added.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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