The Southern Newsroom
| August 14, 2022
Air pollution contributes to dementia, and asthma can begin to be exposed to air pollution from traffic. (Photo: Reproduction)
Even low levels of air pollution can harm health. The information comes from a study by the Health Effects Institute (USA). To arrive at this claim, the researchers analyzed the cleanest places in the world, under the premise of helping governments think about future ways to manage the harmful effects of pollutants.
Although Canada’s air is relatively clean, the study found that nearly 8,000 Canadians are dying earlier each year due to air pollution. Remarkably, even people in the cleanest areas were experiencing an impact on their health.
The researchers point out that there is no way to define the minimum amount of “acceptable” pollution. These results suggest that significant health benefits can be achieved with continued reductions in air pollution and stricter regulatory standards, including in countries like Canada and the UK.
“Given that we have not identified a ‘safe’ level of air pollution, we should rethink our approach and focus on continuous year-on-year reductions rather than simply setting standards for fixed concentrations that are only revised every five to ten years. The health impacts are very significant,” the authors write.
Previous studies have warned that air pollution contributes to dementia, and asthma can begin to be exposed to air pollution from traffic. While the UK and European countries have pledged to reduce the average particulate pollution and total pollution produced by each country, there is growing evidence pointing to the need for action to improve air pollution everywhere and especially for the most vulnerable. .
An international team of scientists has found that up to 58% of infectious diseases that affect humans can be made worse by the effects of climate change. This means that contact with thousands of infectious agents must increase and many of these pathogens may mutate with the change in the global scenario.
Published in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change, the systematic review — a survey that compares the results obtained from other studies — on the effects of climate change on health was carried out by researchers from the University of Hawaii, in the United States United States, and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. .
“Of the 375 human diseases [rastreadas no estudo]we found that 218 of them – well over half – can be affected by climate change,” the authors detail in an article for The Conversation platform.
To cite a few examples of how climate change can affect the spread of disease, the team of scientists comments that the increased number of floods can trigger a surge in cases of hepatitis or even leptospirosis. In Brazil, it is common to observe the increase of both diseases after heavy rainy seasons.
At the other extreme, regions with prolonged droughts or where large areas are devastated can bring wild animals closer to human populations. This contact can promote different types of zoonoses and even the emergence of new diseases.
However, the average increase in temperatures can favor the reproduction of different species of mosquitoes. Under these circumstances, certain diseases can spread more easily, such as malaria, dengue fever, chikungunya and zika.
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