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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Air Pollution and Mortality

Air Pollution and Mortality
The island factor of the certain cities (of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de Tenerife), along with their proximity to Africa and their meteorology, create a particular setting that influences the air quality of these cities and provides researchers an opportunity to analyze the acute effects of air-pollutants on daily mortality.

From 2000 to 2004, the relationship between daily changes in PM10, PM2.5, SO2, NO2, CO, and ozone levels and daily total mortality and mortality due to respiratory and heart diseases were assessed .

Daily levels of PM10, PM2.5, NO2, and SO2 were found to be associated with an increase in respiratory mortality in Santa Cruz de Tenerife and with increased heart disease mortality in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, thus indicating an association between daily ozone levels and mortality from heart diseases. The effects spread over five successive days. SO2 was the only air pollutant significantly related with total mortality.

There is a short-term association between current exposure levels to air pollution and mortality (total as well as that due specifically to heart and respiratory diseases) in both cities. Risk coefficients were higher for respiratory and cardiovascular mortality, showing a delayed effect over several days.

Since the 1990s, a number of studies have shown that daily pollution variations in urban ambient air are associated with an increase in mortality even when the fluctuations are below international standards. The results of the EMECAS Project (Spanish Multicenter Study on Air Pollution and Health), which was conducted on the basis of data from 13 Spanish cities with an overall population of over 10 million inhabitants, corroborated the existence of an association between air pollution and mortality among the urban Spanish population, indicating higher risk estimates for specific causes, mainly respiratory diseases.


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