Air pollution as a cause for a premature death? – Naturopathy Naturopathy Specialist Portal

Causal connection between air pollution and premature death found

Long-term exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2. 5) and ozone is associated with a significantly shortened life expectancy. This shows how important it is that the occurring air pollution is effectively reduced.

In a new study by the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, it was found that exposure to fine dust particles has a significant influence on life expectancy. The results were published in the English scientific journal “science Advances”.

Data from 68.5 million people evaluated


For the current study, the researchers analyzed the data of 68.5 million people with Medicare have taken benefits (a special type of health insurance) in the United States (97 percent of the U.S. population over 65 years of age) from the age of 16. In the analysis of factors such as Body Mass Index, Smoking, ethnicity, income and education were taken into account. In the case of the evaluation of the daily PM2. 5 air pollution, the researchers took into account also the satellite data, information on land use, variables of the weather and other factors. They used two traditional statistical approaches, as well as three state of the art approaches to cause and effect work out.

PM,2,5, and ozone can reduce the life expectancy

The new research builds on a study from the year 2017. This had shown that long-term exposure to PM2. 5 pollution and ozone, increased self-values under the current U.S. air quality standards, the risk of premature death in the elderly in the United States.

The elderly are particularly at risk


The research group evaluated in their study the largest data set of older people from the USA and used several analysis methods, including statistical methods for the causal conclusion to show that the current U.S. Standards for PM2. 5 concentrations to provide sufficient protection. By a reduction of particularly vulnerable population group could be, for example, older people, protected.

Results of five methods of analysis were consistent

In all, five different types of analyses, the results were consistent. The researchers from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, said in a press release that this is so far the most robust and best-reproducible evidence for the causal relationship between exposure to PM2. 5 and mortality.

What would be the impact of a reduction in PM2. 5 exposure?

The research group found that the annual decrease in PM2. 5 exposure of 10 µg/m3 would lead to a six to seven percent decrease in the risk of Death. On the basis of this result, the researchers estimate that a reduction of the annual PM2. 5 standard to 10 µg/m3 in the United States, could alone save in a decade 143.257 life.

What about the fine dust burden in Germany?

In Germany, the fine dust emissions have decreased since 1995, significantly. However, the proportion of fine dust in the total dust was increased by the much stronger decline in the total dust emissions over the years, according to the German Federal environment Agency in a press release.

Up to the year 2020 a reduction of emissions by 26 percent compared to the year 2005 it was planned. This is evident from the emission reduction obligation for PM2. 5 for Germany. This obligation has also been adopted in the recast of the Directive on national Emission ceilings and with a target for 2030, supplemented. Up to this time the German PM2. 5 to reduce emissions by 43 percent, on the basis of the values from the year 2005. (as)

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