A new study led by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has found that deaths related to air pollution in the US were nearly halved between 1990 and 2010. The open-access study is published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. The team’s analyses showed that... Details →


A research team in China conducted a longitudinal panel study among 43 non-smoking college students in Shanghai to explore the effects of personal ozone exposure on blood pressure (BP), vascular endothelial function, and the potential molecular mechanisms. Endothelial cells line the inside of the heart and blood vessels and release... Details →


Duke/York study finds long-term exposure to ozone has significant impacts on human health, but lower than prior modeling results

A team from Duke University in the US and University of York in the UK have utilized a novel method to estimate long-term ozone exposure and previously reported epidemiological results to quantify the health burden from long-term ozone exposure in three major regions of the world. The team’s observationally-derived data... Details →


Study suggests air pollution may be linked to heightened mouth cancer risk; PM2.5 and ozone

High levels of air pollutants, especially fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and to a lesser extent, ozone, may be linked to a heightened risk of developing mouth cancer, suggests a study by a team of Taiwanese researchers. Their open-access paper is published in the Journal of Investigative Medicine. The number of... Details →


New study finds gasoline stations vent up to 10x more benzene fumes than previously thought

A study led by environmental health scientists at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health examined the release of vapors from gasoline station vent pipes, and found benzene emissions were 10 times higher than estimates used in setback regulations that determine how close schools, playgrounds, and parks can be to... Details →


Scientists at KU Leuven, University of Lubumbashi reveal the health risks of cobalt mining in DR Congo

Demand for cobalt has been on the increase due to its many applications. The metal is a crucial component of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for smartphones and electric cars. Around 60% of the world’s cobalt supply comes from the mineral-rich Katanga Copper belt, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Researchers... Details →


MIT study finds real-world NOx from diesels cars in Europe greatly exceeds laboratory levels; transboundary emissions cause 70% of health impacts

A new study by MIT researchers, published this month in Atmospheric Environment, finds that in Europe, 10 major auto manufacturers produced diesel cars, sold between 2000 and 2015, that generate up to 16 times more NOx emissions on the road than in regulatory tests—a level that exceeds European limits but... Details →


USC study finds particulate matter in air pollution affects thyroid development in fetuses

In a cohort study of a subset of 2050 newborns from the Children’s Health Study in southern California, researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) found that an increase of 2 standard deviations in prenatal exposure to particulate matter in air pollution was associated with higher newborn total thyroxine... Details →


Two-year study in Canada finds large trucks disproportionately contribute to higher levels of black carbon pollution

A two-year study led by researchers at the University of Toronto has found large trucks to be the greatest contributors to black carbon emissions close to major roadways. The study is published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology. The comprehensive study led by U of T Professor Greg... Details →


Study finds long-term exposure to air pollution negatively impacts cognitive performance and may become more pronounced with age

Researchers from China and the US have found that long-term exposure to air pollution impedes cognitive performance in verbal and math tests. In a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), they report that the effect of air pollution on verbal tests becomes more pronounced as... Details →


PM2.5 pollution now associated with chronic kidney disease

Adding to the list of health issues associated with PM2.5 pollution, new open-access research published in PLOS ONE suggests that PM2.5 is connected with chronic kidney disease (CKD), which occurs when a person’s kidneys become damaged or cannot filter blood properly. Similar to smoking, air pollution contains harmful toxins that... Details →


PM2.5 pollution shortens human lives by more than a year, according to a new open-access study from a team of environmental engineers and public health researchers published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters. Better air quality could lead to a significant extension of lifespans around the world.... Details →


Study provides more insight into air pollution mechanisms that cause cardiovascular diseases

Air pollution, and fine dust in particular, is calculated to contribute to more than four million deaths each year. Almost 60% of deaths occur as a result of cardiovascular diseases. Scientists around Professor Thomas Münzel, Director of Cardiology I at the Department of Cardiology at the Medical Center Mainz of... Details →


Babies in strollers can be exposed to up to ~60% higher average concentrations of pollution than their parents, causing potential damage to their frontal lobe and impacting on their cognitive abilities and brain development, according to a study by researchers at the University of Surrey (UK). In the study published... Details →


Study concludes cycling is the urban transport mode associated with the greatest health benefits

A new study led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a center supported by the la Caixa Banking Foundation, has concluded that cycling is the mode of transport associated with the greatest health benefits: better self-perceived general health, better mental health and fewer feelings of loneliness. The study... Details →


During the first three years of California’s 5-year-old cap-and-trade program, the bulk of the greenhouse gas reductions occurred out of state—i.e., state residents did not see the benefits of improved air quality from presumed reductions in harmful co-pollutants, such as particulate matter—according to a new study led by UC Berkeley... Details →


Study links PM2.5 pollution to increased risk of diabetes; even low levels pose risk

A study by a team from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Veterans Affairs (VA) St. Louis Health Care System links PM2.5 pollution—even at levels deemed safe—to an increased risk of diabetes globally. The open-access findings, published in the journal The Lancet Planetary Health, raise the... Details →


Mayor of London launches international study on effect of air pollution on children’s health: CHILL

More 3,000 primary school children in polluted areas of London and Luton will have their lung health monitored over a four-year period in a new international study launched by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. The CHILL study (Children’s Health in London & Luton) will test whether policies to improve... Details →


Study suggests more active commute could cut risk of developing and dying from heart disease

People who are more active when commuting to work by walking or cycling could be cutting their relative risk of developing ischaemic heart disease or stroke by 11% and their relative risk of dying from these diseases by 30%, suggests an open-access study published in the BMJ journal Heart. Physical... Details →


Study associates ozone exposure at birth to increased risk of developing asthma

A long-term study of the health of Canadian children has found that exposure to ozone (O3) at birth was associated with an 82% increased risk of developing asthma by age three. The study, which was a 10-year follow-up to the 2006 Toronto Child Health Evaluation Questionnaire (T-CHEQ), was presented at... Details →


Study associates in-utero exposure to PM2.5 pollution with higher blood pressure in childhood

Children who were exposed to higher levels of PM2.5 air pollution during the third trimester of their mother’s pregnancy had a higher risk of elevated blood pressure in childhood, according to new research by a team led by researchers from Johns Hopkins University in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension.... Details →


Cedars-Sinai study finds prolonged exposure to coarse PM in LA Basin air led to genetic changes in rat brains

Prolonged exposure to coarse particulate matter (PM2.5–10) in air pollution in the Los Angeles Basin triggered inflammation and the appearance of cancer-related genes in the brains of rats, a Cedars-Sinai study has found. Previous research has documented the association between air pollution and a variety of diseases, including cancer. This... Details →


Study links traffic-related pollution to risk of asthma in children

New research led by scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health suggests that long-term exposure to traffic-related pollution significantly increases the risk of pediatric asthma, especially in early childhood. Their findings were published today in a Letter to the Editor... Details →


WHO: 9 out of 10 people worldwide breathe polluted air; 7M deaths per year

New data from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants. Updated estimations reveal a death toll of 7 million people every year caused by ambient (outdoor) and household air pollution. Air pollution threatens us all, but the poorest... Details →


NUS-led study: beltway to divert diesel trucks in São Paulo improved air quality and public health

A study by researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the University of São Paulo revealed that a beltway constructed to divert heavy-duty diesel vehicles traffic in the Brazilian city of São Paulo improved air quality and public health in the city. The study was published in the... Details →


Seven billion people, more than 95% of the world’s population, lived in areas exceeding the WHO Guideline for healthy air in 2016, according to a new global study. Fifty-eight percent lived in areas with PM2.5 concentrations above above the WHO Interim Target 1 (IT-1, 35 μg/m3); 69% lived in areas... Details →


Large-scale study associates even brief exposure to PM2.5 with childhood lung infections

Even the briefest increase in airborne PM2.5 is associated with the development of acute lower respiratory infection (ALRI) in young children, according to a new, large-scale study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, an American Thoracic Society journal. Increases in PM2.5 levels also led to... Details →


New report released by UK House of Commons calls for advancing date for end of sale of conventional cars to before 2040

The UK House of Commons has released a new report on air pollution that calls for urgent action by national leadership to bring about a step change in how the problem of air quality is tackled. The joint inquiry resulting in the report “Improving Air Quality” was launched in 2017... Details →


Air pollution exposure during fetal life linked to brain alterations and cognitive impairment in children

A new study performed in the Netherlands has linked exposure to residential air pollution during fetal life with brain abnormalities that may contribute to impaired cognitive function in school-age children. The study, published in Biological Psychiatry, reports that the air pollution levels related to brain alterations were below those considered... Details →


German Environment Agency study finds NO2 concentrations have serious impact on health

Outdoor air concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in Germany have a serious impact on health, according to a new study published by the German Environment Agency (Umwelt Bundesamt, UBA). (The study was carried out on behalf of UBA by the Helmholtz Zentrum München and IVU Umwelt.) Statistics for 2014 indicate... Details →


Researchers from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), with colleagues at other institutions in Canada and the UK, have found strong evidence that environmental exposures, including air pollution, affect gene expressions associated with respiratory diseases much more than genetic ancestry. The study, published as an open-access paper in Nature... Details →


Study finds global emissions of ethane and propane underestimated by more than 50%

Global levels of the hydrocarbons ethane and propane in the atmosphere have been underestimated by more than 50%, according to a new study by a team of scientists from Europe and the US. When ethane and propane—the most abundant non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC) in the atmosphere—mix with nitrogen oxides from vehicles... Details →


A new study by researchers at the Bourns College of Engineering, University of California, Riverside (UCR) and colleagues at the Manufacturers of Emission Controls Association (MECA) has found that catalyzed gasoline particulate filters (GPF) are effective not only at reducing particulate mass, black carbon, and total and solid particle number... Details →


Consumer products such as shampoo, cleaning products and paint now contribute as much to emitted volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in cities as tailpipe emissions from vehicles, according to a new study led by NOAA. The results, published in an open-access paper in the journal Science, suggest that the focus of... Details →


Study finds rapid increases in nitrogen oxides may be as harmful to the heart as sustained levels

Rapid increases in pollution may be as harmful to the heart as sustained high levels, according to new research published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. The authors urgently call for confirmatory studies as even residents of clean air cities could be at risk. There is longstanding evidence that... Details →


Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) and Haifa Municipality have begun operating a low-emission zone (LEZ). As of 2 February 2018, polluting heavy diesel vehicles were no longer allowed in downtown Haifa. These buses and trucks must install a particulate filter in order to enter the restricted area. The creation... Details →


IMO sub-committee moving forward on prohibiting carriage of high-sulfur fuel oil

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR) has agreed to move forward with a prohibition on the carriage of high-sulfur fuel oil for use on board ships, when that fuel oil is not compliant with a new low-sulfur limit which comes into force from 2020.... Details →


Marine shipping fuels will get cleaner in 2020 when a regulation by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) requires a decrease in the allowable amount of sulfur in fuel oil from 3.5% to 0.5%—i.e., from 35,000 parts per million (ppm) to 5,000 ppm. This marks the most significant improvement in global... Details →


Ozone levels across much of North America and Europe dropped significantly between 2000 and 2014. Even so, during 2010-2014, people in parts of California, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, the Midwest and the Middle Atlantic still experienced more than 15 days a year in which ozone levels exceeded the US health-based air... Details →


UMD IBBR awarded DOE grant to investigate how to protect biofuel crop poplar trees from disease

The University of Maryland (UMD) Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR) has been awarded a $1.1million US Department of Energy (DOE) grant to elucidate the mechanism of rust pathogenesis in poplar in an effort to engineer durable resistance for this important, second-generation biofuel crop. The aim of the three-year... Details →


Study: air pollution may shorten telomeres in newborns; a sign of increased health risks

A study conducted before and after the 2004 closure of a coal-burning power plant in Tongliang, China, found that children born before the closure had shorter telomeres than those conceived and born after the plant stopped polluting the air. Results appear in the journal Environment International. Telomeres are specialized sections... Details →


The 2018 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) finds that air quality is the leading environmental threat to public health. The EPI uses three indicators to measure air quality: household solid fuel use; PM2.5 average exposure, and PM2.5 exceedance of WHO thresholds. Recent research cited by the EPI suggests that around five... Details →


IMechE report calls for new Clean Air Act in UK

A new report by the UK-based Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) calls for urgent action to tackle the damage to health caused by air pollution. Health problems range from slowing the proper development of children’s lungs through to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases among the elderly. A 2016 report by the... Details →


Researchers at the University of Alberta (Canada) have shown for the first time that road dust is photochemically active; i.e., sunlight causes chemical reactions in the dust. Road dust resuspension is a major source of particulate matter in many urban centers—especially those in which traction materials are applied to roadways... Details →


Study: air pollution along Utah’s Wasatch Front causes more than 200 pneumonia cases each year

Air pollution trapped along the Wasatch Front by winter inversions is estimated to send more than 200 people to the emergency room with pneumonia each year, according to a study by University of Utah Health and Intermountain Healthcare. Bad air quality especially erodes the health of adults over age 65,... Details →


Short-term exposure to low levels of air pollution linked with premature death among US seniors

A new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health links short-term exposures to fine particulate air pollution and ozone—even at levels well below current national safety standards—to higher risk of premature death among the elderly in the US. The risk was even higher among elderly who were low-income,... Details →


Study finds Leipzig Low Emission Zone removed most dangerous particles; NOx remained nearly constant

Leipzig’s Low Emission Zone was established in March 2011, allowing only access of Euro 4 and higher diesel vehicles, with few exceptions. A joint scientific study by the Saxon State Office of the Environment, Agriculture and Geology (LfULG) and the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS) has found that the... Details →


Johns Hopkins study links exposure to coarse particulate matter to increased risk of asthma in children

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University report that coarse particulate matter—created by physical processes such as tire and break wear, agricultural tilling, salt spray and dust created in manufacturing—appears to put children at greater risk for asthma, independent of exposure to fine particulate pollution. A paper on the work will... Details →


Chicago Area Clean Cities names American Lung Association 2017 Clean Fuels Champion

The American Lung Association has been named the 2017 Clean Fuels Champion by Chicago Area Clean Cities (CACC), a nonprofit coalition dedicated to promoting clean-energy and clean-air solutions for transportation in the Chicago area impacting nearly 9 million people. The Clean Fuels Champion was awarded last night at the coalition’s... Details →


Europe’s transport sector is making only mixed progress in meeting its environment, health and climate policy targets, according to the latest European Environment Agency (EEA) assessment which tracks the short and long-term environmental performance of this key economic sector across the European Union. The EEA Briefing “Transport and Environment Reporting... Details →