Study: Face Masks May Be Ineffective Against Air Pollution

Study: Face Masks May Be Ineffective Against Air Pollution


Face masks available to consumers in China for protection against air pollution vary widely in their real-world performance, suggests a recent study.

Although a mask may filter tiny particles as advertised, face size and shape as well as movement can lead to leakage as high as 68 percent, researchers report in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

“Even if the filtration efficiency of the mask is high, and the mask fits the person initially, the mask may not continue to give a good fit as the person goes about their daily activities — walking, talking, and more,” said senior study author Miranda Loh, an exposure and environmental scientist at the Institute of Occupational Medicine in Edinburgh, Scotland. > >> read more ...

More Evidence Links Air Pollution to Childhood Asthma

More Evidence Links Air Pollution to Childhood Asthma


New US research has found yet more evidence to suggest that there is a strong link between traffic pollution and asthma in young children. 

Led by scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the study analyzed data from 1,522 children to assess the effect of long-term exposure to air pollution on asthma.

The children’s mothers were already enrolled in a long-term study called Project Viva, which gave the researchers access to comprehensive medical, socio-economic and demographic information, including their residential address history. > >> read more ...

Gains in US Air Quality Slow: Study

Gains in US Air Quality Slow: Study


Air quality has largely improved over the past several decades in the United States, but those gains have slowed substantially since 2011, an international study said Monday.

The report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found a stark difference between estimates and reality when it came to nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide, which contribute to ground-level ozone, or smog, from 2011-2015.

“We were surprised by the discrepancy between the estimates of emissions and the actual measurements of pollutants in the atmosphere,” said lead author Zhe Jiang, who conducted the research while on a postdoctoral fellowship at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research and is now with the University of Science and Technology of China. > >> read more ...

Air Pollution Tied to IVF Failure

Air Pollution Tied to IVF Failure


Women exposed to high levels of air pollution may have less success getting pregnant with fertility treatments or staying pregnant, compared to women breathing cleaner air, a South Korean study suggests.
Researchers analyzed pregnancy rates over nine years and more than 6,600 IVF cycles at a Seoul fertility clinic and found reduced conception rates and increased pregnancy losses among women exposed to the highest levels of five types of air pollution.

“Although the specific mechanism is unclear, high ambient air pollution has been suggested to affect processes of conception assisted by in vitro fertilization (IVF), which means the impact of air pollution can be profound in couples who are suffering from infertility,” said lead author Dr. Seung-Ah Choe of the School of Medicine at CHA University and the CHA fertility clinic in Seoul. > >> read more ...

California Has Worst Air Pollution in US

California Has Worst Air Pollution in US


California has the most polluted cities in the United States, a report issued on Wednesday said, as President Donald Trump’s administration seeks to force the state to weaken its vehicle emissions standards.

The study published by the American Lung Association — which covers the period from 2014 to 2016, the year before Trump took office — said Los Angeles remained the city with the worst ozone pollution, and ranked fourth in terms of year-round particle contamination. > >> read more ...

Poor Air Quality Tied to Spike in Heart, Lung Problems but Patients Unaware

Poor Air Quality Tied to Spike in Heart, Lung Problems but Patients Unaware


Poor air quality with high levels of tiny pollution particles known as PM 2.5 are tied to a spike in emergency department visits for heart- and lung-related illnesses and stroke, a California study suggests, but a nationwide U.S. survey finds that few heart patients are aware of air quality risks.

Based on analysis of areas affected by the intense 2015 California wildfire season, researchers found that within a day of residents being exposed to dense smoke, emergency room visits for heart attacks and other cardiac events and symptoms rose by 15 percent overall, and 42 percent among people over age 65. > >> read more ...

Lifelong Air Pollution Raises Alzheimer’s Risk: Study

Lifelong Air Pollution Raises Alzheimer’s Risk: Study


New US research has found that growing up in a city with a high level of air pollution could increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and progression of the disease.

Carried out by researchers at the University of Montana, the study looked at the effects of air pollution in Mexico City, where 24 million people in the metropolitan area are exposed daily to concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone pollution above US Environmental Protection Agency standards. > >> read more ...

Drop in Air Pollution Increases Swedish Life Expectancy

Drop in Air Pollution Increases Swedish Life Expectancy


New research has found that those living in the Swedish cities of Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö live on average one year longer today than 25 years ago thanks to a decrease in the level of traffic pollution.

Carried out by researchers at the Department of Environmental Sciences and Analytical Chemistry (ACES), the team looked at results from measurement stations located in the center of each city which tracked the levels of nitrogen oxides, ozone and particles in the air from 1990 to 2015.  > >> read more ...

Exposure to Air Pollution During Pregnancy Alters Baby’s Brain: Study

Exposure to Air Pollution During Pregnancy Alters Baby’s Brain: Study


Babies exposed to air pollution while in the womb may have brain abnormalities that contribute to cognitive problems when they become school-aged, even if the levels of pollution are considered safe.

A study, which was published in Biological Psychiatry, showed for the first time that pollution interfered with inhibitory control — the ability of a person to regulate impulsive behavior and their actions when faced with temptations. This ability is related to mental health problems such as addictive behavior and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. > >> read more ...

Air Pollution Linked to Abnormal Fetal Growth

Air Pollution Linked to Abnormal Fetal Growth


Exposure to high levels of certain air pollutants during pregnancy could increase the risk of abnormal fetal growth according to a new study from Yale School of Public Health (YSPH). Researchers say the study is the first of its kind to be carried out in areas with very high air pollution levels.

Many recent studies have already suggested that air pollution poses a serious threat to health, finding associations between exposure to pollutants and an increased risk of conditions such as heart disease, asthma and male infertility. However, according to the team behind the new study there is a lack of research looking into the effect of pollution on fetal growth.  > >> read more ...

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