“We don’t have to be exposed for weeks or months or years”

by Downwinders on February 17, 2012

This week, we’ve examined new studies linking brain damage to breathing. Let’s take on heart disease now. Short-term exposure – less than seven days – to common air pollutants raises the risks of heart attack, according to a new study that looked at air quality from 100 studies on five continents. “…an improvement in air quality could have a significant effect on public
wrote the authors, led by Dr. Hazrije Mustafic of the Paris
Cardiovascular Research Center at University Paris Descartes. Dr. Jesus Araujo, an assistant professor of medicine and director of
environmental cardiology at UCLA, said there is now “more than enough
from human, animal and cellular studies that air pollution
kills. One of the most important findings of the new research is that it
confirms that heart attacks increase even when exposures to worsening
air quality are short in duration.“We don’t have to be exposed for weeks or months or years,” Araujo said. The study found harmful effects to the heart from breathing in microscopic particulate matter, or soot, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide, often at levels that are considered “safe.” “The more scientists look, the more they find effects at lower
said Jean Ospital, Director of Southern California’s Air quality District, “This is a question that always comes up, how
low do we need to go to protect public health? It seems to be a moving
target in terms of where the health effects are, where we really need to
go to have health protection.”

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