Even ‘Safe’ Pollution Levels Can Be Deadly

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Even ‘Safe’ Pollution Levels Can Be Deadly
They found that each increase of 10 micrograms per cubic meter in particles smaller than 2.5 microns, or PM 2.5, was associated with a 7.3 percent increased mortality,
and each increase of 10 parts per billion in warm-weather ozone was linked to a 1.1 percent increase.
Using satellite, meteorological and other data, plus data gathered from 3,805 monitoring stations maintained by the Environmental
Protection Agency, researchers were able to accurately estimate daily air pollution levels nationwide.
“When you have a large study that shows that the current level of air pollution is toxic — I hope that’s something
we can do something about,” said one author, Francesca Dominici, a professor of biostatistics at Harvard.
Average PM 2.5 ranged from 6.21 to 15.65 over the study period; a level of 12 is considered tolerable.
A study of more than 60 million Medicare recipients has found
that even pollution levels below those generally considered safe increase the risk for premature death.

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