The authors of this new study combine household survey-based information on the location and timing of nearly 1 million births across sub-Saharan Africa with satellite-based estimates of exposure to ambient respirable particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 μm (PM2.5) to estimate the impact of air quality on mortality rates among infants in Africa. They find that a 10 μg per cubic meter increase in PM2.5 concentration is associated with a 9% (95% confidence interval, 4–14%) rise in infant mortality across the data-set. This effect has not declined over the last 15 years and does not diminish with higher levels of household wealth. The author's estimates suggest that PM2.5 concentrations above minimum exposure levels were responsible for 22% (95% confidence interval, 9–35%) of infant deaths in the thirty study-countries and led to 449,000 (95% confidence interval, 194,000–709,000) additional deaths of infants in 2015, an estimate that is more than three times higher than existing estimates that attribute death of infants to poor air quality for these countries
Professor Chalmers claimed that the data showed that the impact of air pollution was worst in the summer months, where hotter and less windy days raised the levels of air pollution.
It is also when people are outside more and are being exposed to pollution, the researchers suggested, and a time when doctor visits were more frequent.
Professor Chalmers added: “Our datasuggests that a failure to tackle air pollution is having a major impact on the health of people with lung conditions and potentially the wider Tayside population. The patients we looked at, who all suffer from lung conditions, are to my mind the canary in the coalmine on this issue – they are the first and most seriously affected by air pollution but it can affect us all.”
Ian Jarrold, Head of Research at the British Lung Foundation, said that the research showed that the additional costs faced by the NHS due to exposure to air pollution ‘can no longer be ignored’.
There will be more than 16,000 fireworks in the United States during the fourth of July celebration - enough to register a dramatic (albeit temporary) effect on air quality.
In its publication, the citylab website explains how all these rockets and explosions emit considerable amounts of "fine particulate matter", microscopic particles capable of penetrating deep into the lungs and blood.
Another publication reveals how some states will fight the problem. By contrast, pollution levels in the US are generally half of the average in Bulgaria, but even for one-time rises - at the time of their national holiday, they are looking for cleaner alternatives.