Researchers Discover Several Fresh Problems Related to Air Pollution

A study published in BMJ journal points to several new problems that could arise from air pollution. The adverse impacts of increasing air pollution are well established. However, the new study goes an extra mile in finding out unknown facts about the impacts of air pollution. The research conducted by a team of scholars at Harvard University provides important cues for scientists. The researchers at Harvard assert that air pollution is not just related to higher incidence of respiratory ailments. Therefore, it is important to delve into other health vulnerabilities associated with air pollution. The study finds that air pollution could be a cause for heart failure, cancer, strokes, and mental health disorders. Furthermore, miscarriages could also be an indirect outcome of deteriorating air quality.

 Building on Previous Research

 Another research conducted earlier this year stated that air pollution impacted all the cells of the body. The new research is in a way an extension to previous findings on the subject. The lead researcher explained that the intent behind the research was to gather comprehensive insights in this regard. Furthermore, the researchers studied the reasons for hospitalization that could be linked to poor air quality. For the purpose of research, the researchers established relationship between air pollution and 214 different diseases. Besides, over 95 million insurance claims made during 2000 and 2012 were studied for hospitalization patterns.

 Use of Healthcare Data

 The Medicare Program of the US is an all-inclusive healthcare program that has healthcare information of a large population. Therefore, the scientists studied data from this program in order to understand increase in the incidence of a particular disease. The findings of the research open new avenues for other research centers to understand the impacts of air pollution. Several other research methodologies pertaining to healthcare diseases are currently underway.

Ozone Pollution is on Rise due to China’s War on Particulate Air Pollution

Chinese government announced a war on air pollution in early 2013. The government declared stringent polices to regulate the emissions of particulate matter, which is known as PM 2.5. Over the course of five years, China’s fast approach towards restricting the number of vehicles on the road resulted in lowering the PM 2.5 concentrations nearly about 40 percent. However, rising ozone pollution caused by reducing PM 2.5 concentrations completely baffled the researchers of John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).

Rapid Reduction of PM 2.5 Leaves More Radicals to Produce Ozone

Ozone is formed through chemical reactions which includes the oxidation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Such reaction generates chemical radicals that trigger VOCs to produce ozone in the presence of sunlight. The researchers from SEAS found out that particulate matter sucks up the radicals needed to generate ozone pollution.

The larger cities in China are witnessing huge ozone pollution due to rapid reduction of PM 2.5. The steps taken towards rapidly lowering PM 2.5 concentrations leave more radicals available to produce ozone, consequently causing ozone pollution. According to Daniel Jacob, a family professor of Atmospheric Chemistry, China is the first nations to experience such a dramatic level of ozone pollution as no other countries acted on minimizing particulate matter emissions.

Researchers of NUIST are planning to put extra efforts to reduce VOC and nitrogen oxides emissions in order to stem the tide of ozone pollution.