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posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday November 15, @12:28AM   Printer-friendly
from the weak-in-the-knees dept.

Air pollution has been linked to weakening of bones:

Poor air quality may be a modifiable risk factor for osteoporosis and bone fractures, especially among people living in low-income communities, according to a newly published analysis of data from two independent studies.

In one study researchers documented higher rates of hospital admissions for bone fractures in communities exposed to elevated levels of ambient particulate matter (PM2·5) air pollution in an analysis of data on more than nine million Medicare enrollees.

In another 8-year follow-up of approximately 700 middle-age, low-income adults participating in a bone health study, participants living in areas with relatively high levels of PM2·5 and black carbon vehicle emissions had lower levels of a key calcium and bone-related hormone and greater decreases in bone mineral density than participants exposed to lower levels of these air pollutants.

All associations were linear and observed -- at least for part of the PM2·5 distribution -- at PM2·5 concentrations below the annual average limits set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (12 μg/m3) and most other industrialized nations.

[...] The researchers acknowledged multiple limitations in both studies, which limit the ability to establish causality. But in an editorial [open, DOI: 10.1016/S2542-5196(17)30143-2] [DX] published with the studies, Tuan Nguyen, PhD, of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in New South Wales, Australia, wrote that the studies are just the latest in a growing body of research linking air pollution exposure to osteoporosis: "Osteoporosis and its consequence of fragility fracture represent one of the most important public health problems worldwide because fracture is associated with increased mortality."

Association of air particulate pollution with bone loss over time and bone fracture risk: analysis of data from two independent studies (open, DOI: 10.1016/S2542-5196(17)30136-5) (DX)

Related: 80 Percent of World's City Dwellers Breathing Bad Air: UN
Study Links Pregnant Women's Exposure to Air Pollution to Shorter Telomeres in Babies
Lancet Report Says Pollution Caused 9 Million Premature Deaths in 2015


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80 Percent of World's City Dwellers Breathing Bad Air: UN 18 comments

Over 80 percent of the world's city dwellers breathe poor quality air, increasing their risk of lung cancer and other life-threatening diseases, a new World Health Organization (WHO) report warned Thursday.

Urban residents in poor countries are by far the worst affected, WHO said, noting that nearly every city (98 percent) in low- and middle-income countries has air which fails to meet the UN body's standards.

That number falls to 56 percent of cities in wealthier countries.

"Urban air pollution continues to rise at an alarming rate, wreaking havoc on human health," Maria Neira, the head of WHO's department of public health and environment, said in a statement.

There may be something to this--children in New York City are twice as likely to be hospitalized for asthma as the national average.


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Study Links Pregnant Women's Exposure to Air Pollution to Shorter Telomeres in Babies 30 comments

A study has found that pregnant women exposed to air pollution (as inferred by their residential addresses, not lung biopsies or something) give birth to babies with shorter telomeres, considered a sign of premature aging damage:

"Reducing exposure to air pollution is a good thing, for both the parents and for the unborn baby," said Pam Factor-Litvak, author of an accompanying editorial and a public health researcher at Columbia University in New York. "Prenatal exposure to air pollution is associated with a host of adverse outcomes," Factor-Litvak said by email.

For the study, Tim Nawrot of Hasselt University in Diepenbeek, Belgium, and colleagues examined telomere length from samples of cord blood and placental tissue for 641 newborns in the Flanders region. They also looked at mothers' exposure to pollutants known as PM 2.5, a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter that can include dust, dirt, soot and smoke and are often found in traffic exhaust.

Some previous research has linked exposure to traffic fumes and air pollution to higher odds of infertility as well as an increased risk of delivering underweight or premature babies. Prior research has also linked shorter telomeres to an increased risk of a variety of chronic health problems in adults, including heart disease and cancer.

Also at CleanTechnica.

Prenatal Air Pollution and Newborns' Predisposition to Accelerated Biological Aging (open, DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.3024) (DX)

Editorial: Environmental Exposures, Telomere Length at Birth, and Disease Susceptibility in Later Life (DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.3562) (DX)


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Lancet Report Says Pollution Caused 9 Million Premature Deaths in 2015 25 comments

A Lancet Commission report has found that pollution is now the leading cause of disease and death worldwide:

Exposure to polluted air, water and soil caused nine million premature deaths in 2015, according to a report published Thursday in The Lancet.

The causes of death vary — cancer, lung disease, heart disease. The report links them to pollution, drawing upon previous studies that show how pollution is tied to a wider range of diseases than previously thought.

Those studies observed populations exposed to pollutants and compared them to people not exposed. The studies have shown that pollution can be an important cause of diseases — many of them potentially fatal — including asthma, cancer, neurodevelopmental disorders, birth defects in children, heart disease, stroke and lung disease.

The nine million figure adds up to 16 percent of all deaths worldwide, killing three times more people than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. Pollution is responsible for 15 times more deaths than wars and all other forms of violence. "No country is unaffected," the report notes. But 92 percent of those deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries.

Air pollution deaths in Southeast Asia are expected to double by 2050.

The Lancet Commission on pollution and health (DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(17)32345-0) (DX)

Also at The Guardian and Human Rights Watch.

Related: Pollution responsible for quarter of deaths of young children, says WHO


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UNICEF Says 17 Million Babies Worldwide Breathe Air Pollution Six Times Worse Than Recommended Limit 12 comments

Toxic air puts 17 million babies' brains and lungs at risk: UNICEF

About 17 million babies worldwide live in areas where outdoor air pollution is six times the recommended limit, and their brain development is at risk, the U.N. children's agency (UNICEF) said on Wednesday.

The majority of these babies – more than 12 million – are in South Asia, it said, in a study of children under one-year-old, using satellite imagery to identify worst-affected regions.

"Not only do pollutants harm babies' developing lungs – they can permanently damage their developing brains – and, thus, their futures," said UNICEF executive director Anthony Lake.

The links between air pollution and dain bramage are not yet conclusive, according to the report's author.

UNICEF press release. Danger in the air (PDF).

Related: Air Quality Unsafe for 90% of People In Urban Centres
80 Percent of World's City Dwellers Breathing Bad Air: UN
Study Links Pregnant Women's Exposure to Air Pollution to Shorter Telomeres in Babies
Lancet Report Says Pollution Caused 9 Million Premature Deaths in 2015
Air Pollution Linked to Osteoporosis and Bone Fractures


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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by edIII on Wednesday November 15, @12:44AM (7 children)

    by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday November 15, @12:44AM (#597077)

    Just like the Dystopian fiction movies where the poor face hellish conditions with little to no medicine, while the rich enjoy life extending treatments. Shorter telomeres are something we're finding all over in poor and low income communities. The food, air, and stressful environment is literally killing some people off decades before others. This is just the scientific proof of the income inequality consequences.

    About the only satisfaction we will have in this future, is that the rich are also denied a future. When we die as a species, so they will they. Good riddance. Personally, we will reach a tipping point where the 1% are pulled down into the pits with the 99% to be torn apart, shortly before we all die.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by c0lo on Wednesday November 15, @01:17AM (6 children)

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday November 15, @01:17AM (#597081)

      Personally, we will reach a tipping point where the 1% are pulled down into the pits with the 99% to be torn apart, shortly before we all die.

      Faults (in the appearance order):

      1. (nitpicking) the "Personally" is meaningless in a phrase where "we" is the subject all over and again. You aren't talking about you multiple personalities, are you?

      2. Extrapolation from the US conditions to the entire world. There are countries in which the income inequality is kept at a healthy level (yes, there is a dose where wealth inequality is healthy). Perhaps you can consider immigrating in such countries and reconsider your human-species-wide-doom scenario.

      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday November 15, @02:54AM (5 children)

        by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Wednesday November 15, @02:54AM (#597115) Journal

        Recent headline: Richest 1% own half the world's wealth, study finds [theguardian.com]

        The world’s richest people have seen their share of the globe’s total wealth increase from 42.5% [theguardian.com] at the height of the 2008 financial crisis to 50.1% in 2017, or $140tn (£106tn), according to Credit Suisse’s global wealth report published on Tuesday.

        [...] The report said the poor are mostly found in developing countries, with more than 90% of adults in India and Africa having less than $10,000. “In some low-income countries in Africa, the percentage of the population in this wealth group is close to 100%,” the report said. “For many residents of low-income countries, life membership of the base tier is the norm rather than the exception.”

        Meanwhile at the top of what Credit Suisse calls the “global wealth pyramid”, the 36 million people with at least $1m of wealth are collectively worth $128.7tn. More than two-fifths of the world’s millionaires live in the US, followed by Japan with 7% and the UK with 6%.

        Is it better within some countries examined by themselves? Sure. Is inequality leading to a human-species-wide doomsday scenario? Maybe not. But it could be a factor that aggravates and leads to political turmoil in many places in the world, only to get worse as automation eliminates more skilled and unskilled jobs.

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 3, Funny) by c0lo on Wednesday November 15, @03:18AM (1 child)

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday November 15, @03:18AM (#597120)

          But it could be a factor that aggravates and leads to political turmoil in many places in the world, only to get worse as automation eliminates more skilled and unskilled jobs.

          I think I'm gonna get myself an alternative qualification - driving instructor...

          • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday November 16, @12:51AM

            by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 16, @12:51AM (#597533)

            However thought this was funny: in the future, only the rich will drive their own car; it will be a mark of prestige, to show the plebeans that they can be in control of themselves and their wealth.
            Having a driving instructor for their progeny will almost be like having their personal tailor.

        • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by frojack on Wednesday November 15, @04:04AM (1 child)

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday November 15, @04:04AM (#597138) Journal

          But it could be a factor that aggravates and leads to political turmoil in many places in the world, only to get worse as automation eliminates more skilled and unskilled jobs.

          Hence the loud pell-mell rush to start banning and confiscating guns even if it takes false flag attacks.

          Where's my meds.....

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by khallow on Wednesday November 15, @06:27AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday November 15, @06:27AM (#597178) Journal
          Wealth inequality is a bullshit device. Someone who doesn't own a penny to their name has more wealth [vox.com] than 30% of the world. Most of the world doesn't try to save money and hence, doesn't have much to do with the inequality aside from skewing the results. And much of the wealth of the richest is based on extremely dubious valuation methods that won't hold up the next time a recession happens.

          In other words, we don't even know that wealth inequality is changing much less that current levels are bad or good. But it fills page and is free advertising for Credit Suisse.
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