Experts agree that exposure to pollution is unhealthy, but a new study makes it clear there is a correlation between respiratory and cardiovascular deaths in urban areas and exposure to same-day pollution and exposure to pollution within previous days.
The study, led by Dr. Alfesio Braga of the Harvard School of Public Health''s Environmental Epidemiology Program, compared daily deaths as a result of pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and all cardiovascular diseases (specifically myocardial infarction) to the daily particulate pollution counts obtained from the Environmental Protection Agency''s monitoring network.
The study found that same-day exposure to increased particulate air pollution is a main contributor to deaths due to myocardial infarction (MI) in urban areas. Exposure during the previous day also appears to have an association to deaths as a result of MI.
Respiratory deaths are more affected by exposure to particulate pollution on previous days than on the same day, according to Braga and his team. Same-day exposure to particulate pollution appears to contribute more consistently to cardiovascular deaths.
by Sandy Smith