Researchers warn us once more on the damaging effects of pollution: this time air pollution is the cause of people’s health problems. Unfortunately, reports in South California show high mortality rates each year.
Specialists at the American Thoracic Society, in collaboration with New York University’s Marron Institute of Urban Management, conducted a new study which showed them how advanced air pollution is in South California. They think that if the air quality was better, there wouldn’t be so many diseases causing people’s death, such as heart disease, respiratory problems and so on.
According to Orange County Register, Los Angeles is confronting with the worse situation, as approximately 1,341 people are victims of diseases caused by air pollution each year. The Riverside – San Bernardino – Ontario area is also one of the most affected parts of the United States, with 808 reported victims.
Annually, the U.S. loses almost 10 thousand people to diseases caused by air pollution in cities and surrounding areas. Kevin Cromer, the main author of the study, hopes officials will think about this critical problem of citizens and take measures to reduce risks. He declared the following:
“We are just providing previously unavailable information that can help air quality managers and cities make more meaningful decisions.”
The study was based on samples of the ozone layer obtained between 2011 and 2013.
The expansion of cities and the development of industry determine air pollution. Michael Kleinman, a specialist in environmental problems and inhalation of toxins, talks about the situation in Orange County:
“We have more traffic; we have more cars. It’s inevitable to have more emissions and more output. When you have more fires and they’re more intense, there’s more exposure to people throughout the South Coast Air Basin, and Orange County is not immune.”
Specialists also draw attention to the fact that people who already have respiratory problems are prone to be more affected by air pollution in the cities they live in. The warning goes especially for smokers, whose lungs are damaged by the habit. Another important advice from experts is that even performing healthy activities, such as running or exercising while exposed to polluted air, is a risk for people’s health.
Authorities promise to pay much more attention to environmental problems, as they already started projects to improve air quality in their cities. Officials are thankful for the study:
“Studies such as this one help illustrate the important public health impacts of air pollution.” (Jo Kay Ghosh, South Coast Air Quality Management District)
The study was published on August 10.
Image source: Wikipedia