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Breathing in air pollution can lead to toxic particles entering the brain -- and not just through the nose. New research suggests they have a direct pathway through the bloodstream, potentially contributing to brain disorders and neurological damage.

"There are gaps in our knowledge around the harmful...

Pollution from varied sources caused 9 million deaths worldwide in 2019, accounting for 1 in 6 of all deaths, a new study says.

Of those pollution-related deaths, three-quarters -- close to 7 million -- were caused by outdoor or indoor air pollution. Toxic chemical pollution (including lead) caused 1.8...

More than 50,000 premature deaths would be prevented in the United States each year if fine particle air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels were eliminated, researchers say.

Curbing this source of pollution would also save more than $600 billion a year in health care costs due to related illness and death, their

  • By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter
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  • May 17, 2022
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  • After 23 years of decreases in overall air pollution levels, a new report shows that the United States recorded the highest ever number of "very unhealthy" and "hazardous" air quality days between 2018 and 2020.

    In its State of the Air 2022 report, the American Lung Association said more than 137 million Americans reside in counties with unhealthy air, and the number of people who faced i...

    Larger and more intense wildfires in the U.S. Pacific Northwest are causing a spike in air pollution across North America that endangers millions of people, a new study warns.

    Wildfire smoke has been linked to significant

  • By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter
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  • April 21, 2022
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  • Almost no one in the world is breathing good air, according to a new World Health Organization report, which issued a call for reducing the use of fossil fuels.

    Air quality is the worst in WHO's Eastern Mediterranean and Southeast Asia regions, but 99% of the global population breathes air that exceeds ai...

    Long-term exposure to air pollution can wreak havoc on your lungs and heart, but new research suggests another vulnerability: It may increase your risk of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.

    For the study, the re...

    Even "safe" levels of ozone air pollution may increase adolescents' risk of depression, a new study shows.

    Researchers analyzed four years of mental health data from 213 adolescents, ages 9-13, in the San Francisco Ba...

    California will once again be able to set its own car emission standards under a waiver approved Wednesday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    The move reverses a Trump administration decision to revoke the state's authority to determine its own limits on auto emissions.

    Under the EPA ...

    Want to breathe better air indoors? Go green.

    Houseplants can make your home or office air cleaner, according to British researchers.

    In lab tests, they found that three common houseplants -- peace lily ...

    Tighter restrictions on emissions from big trucks were proposed Monday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    "Seventy-two million people are estimated to live near truck freight routes in America, and they are more likely to be people of color and those with lower incomes. These overburdened communities are directly exposed to pollution that causes respiratory and cardiovascu...

    Enforcement of a rule limiting power plant emissions of mercury and other hazardous pollutants will be resumed, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday.

    It's the latest move by the Biden administration to reinstate environmental protections lifted by the Trump administration.

    "The science is clear: we must limit mercury and toxic air pollution to protect our kids a...

    That gas stove in your kitchen fires up quickly and cooks evenly. What's not to love?

    A lot, as it turns out.

    The emissions from gas stoves are considered major contributors to climate change and damaging to human health. Now, new research suggests they're troublesome even when they're turned off.

    The problem is sizable: Over 40 million U.S. households cook with gas, and gas ...

    Older people who live near or downwind of fracking sites have an increased risk of premature death, likely due to airborne contaminants from the sites, according to a new study.

    "There is an urgent need to understand the causal link between living near or downwind of [unconventional oil and gas development] and advers...

    As air pollution worsens, fruits, flowers and the creatures that pollinate them could pay a price.

    That's the takeaway from British researchers who used special equipment to control levels of two common pollutants -- diesel exhaust and ozone -- in a field of black mustard plants, and then monitored pollinating insects over two summers.

    "We knew from our previous lab studies that di...

    Think you're safe from lung cancer because you've never smoked? Think again.

    While cigarette smoking is the main cause of lung cancer, it's possible to get the disease without ever lighting up.

    "Anyone with lungs can get lung cancer," said Dr. Missak Haigentz Jr., chief of Thoracic and Head and Neck Medical Oncology at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick.

    ...

    Everyone knows cleaner air means healthier bodies, but new research suggests it might also help aging minds.

    "Our study is important because it is one of the first to show that reducing air pollution over time may benefit the brain health of older women by decreasing their likelihood of developing dementia," said...

    Wildfires and rising temperatures are exposing more and more Americans to an air pollution double-whammy of smoke and smog, a new study warns.

    Researchers found that over the past 20 years, a growing number of people in western states have been simultaneously exposed to high levels of two kinds of air pollution: Fine-particle pollution generated by

  • Amy Norton HealthDay Reporter
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  • January 12, 2022
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  • Far fewer kids might develop asthma if there were less traffic pollution, suggests a new study that researched the issue worldwide.

    "Our study found that nitrogen dioxide puts children at risk of developing asthma and the problem is especially acute in urban areas," said study author Susan Anenberg, a professor of environmental and occupational health at George Washington University in Wa...

    Cities worldwide are shrouded with air pollution -- and it’s killing people.

    A new modeling study found that 86% of people living in cities throughout the world -- a total of 2.5 billion people -- are exposed to fine particulate matter at levels that exceed the World Health Organization’s 2005 guidelines.

    In 2019, this urban air pollution led to 1.8 million excess deaths, acco...

    Meat eaters are far more apt to choose plant-based foods at restaurants if menus are at least 75% vegetarian, according to a new study.

    Along with the health benefits, British researchers said getting more people to eat plant-based foods could help fight climate change.

    "Th...

    Is air pollution a bigger health threat to minorities?

    Apparently so, claims a new U.S. study that finds while air pollution levels have fallen in recent decades, people of color still have more exposure to dirty air than white Americans do.

    Air pollution is linked to a range of heal...

    The smoke from wildfires is dangerous for your lungs, but tiny particles from the smoke can also enter your brain and cause lifelong neurological issues, a new animal study suggests.

    Once that happens, the particles may put people at risk for everything from premature aging and various forms of dementia to depression and even psychosis, researchers say.

    "These are fires that are com...

    Dirty air could cancel out some of the brain benefits of exercise, a new study suggests.

    "Physical activity is associated with improved markers of brain health in areas with lower air pollution," said study author Melissa Furlong. "However, some beneficial effects essentially disappeared for vigorous physical activity in areas with the highest levels of air pollution." Furlong is an envi...

    New York City's ban on a certain type of heating oil led to significant reductions in air pollutants that pose a risk to health, new research shows.

    “It is very encouraging to see the overall success of the Clean Heat Program in reducing pollution levels in the city, and particularly exciting to find that the policy is effective in both low- and high-income neighborhoods,” lead author...

    A boy or a girl? New research suggests that the air pregnant women breathe or the water they drink could play a role in their baby's sex.

    The finding stems from tracking hundreds of factors -- including pollution exposure -- surrounding the birth of more than 6 million Americans a...

    COVID-19 lockdowns brought surprising news to scientists studying pollution: Cars spew much more ammonia into the air than previously thought.

    Ammonia is a common air pollutant that's a major cause of lung and heart disease, especially in cities.

    “The tricky question has always been: How do we separate out ammonia concentrations owing to traffic from the ammonia emitted from sourc...

    Worried about climate change? You can do something about it every time you lift your fork, a new study suggests.

    Folks can reduce their personal carbon footprint by eating less red meat, nibbling fewer sweets and cutting back on tea, coffee and booze, according to the findings.

    "We all want to do our bit to help save the planet," said senior researcher Darren Greenwood, a senior lec...

    A new program to help U.S. veterans with lung problems caused by inhaling toxins while deployed was announced on Veterans Day by President Joe Biden.

    It will also assess the potential connection between cancers and time spent overseas breathing poor air, according to the White House.

    "We're discovering there is a whole host of lung conditions related to deployment," Dr. Richard Meeh...

    Urban air cleared during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns as fewer commuters hit the road daily, and that might have resulted in one unexpected heart health benefit for Americans, a new study suggests.

    Those reductions in air pollution appear to be linked to a decrease in heart attacks during the shutdowns, according to research slated for presentation Saturday at the American Heart Associ...

    A new rule to sharply cut methane emissions and other oil and gas industry air pollutants that harm health and contribute to climate change is in the works.

    The new Clean Air Act rule proposed Tuesday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would cut 41 million tons of methane emissions between 2023 and 2035.

    That's the equivalent of 920 million metric tons of carbon dioxi...

    Global warming may pose a threat to your kidneys, new research suggests.

    For the study, researchers analyzed data from hospitals in more than 1,800 cities in Brazil between 2000 and 2015, and found that just over 7% of all admissions for kidney disease could be attributed to hotter temperatures.

    That equates to more than 202,000 cases of kidney disease, according to the report publi...

    Dust mites and smoke are known triggers of asthma in children. Now, scientists have identified previously unknown combinations of air pollutants that appear tied to the respiratory disorder.

    "Asthma is one the most prevalent diseases affecting children in the United States. In this study, we developed a list of air pollutants a young child may be exposed to that can lead to longer-term pr...

    Years of exposure to air pollution and traffic noise could make you more vulnerable to heart failure, a new study warns.

    "We found that long-term exposure to specific air pollutants and road traffic noise increased the risk of incident heart failure, especially for former smokers or people with hypertension, so preventive and educational measures are necessary," said lead study author You...

    You might think that wildfires in the western United States would only affect folks in places like Colorado, California or Oregon.

    But a new study estimates that three-quarters of smoke-related deaths and visits to the emergency room for asthma in the United States happen east of the Rocky Mount...

    The rings of stately pines on the coasts of North and South Carolina offer telling long-term evidence of climate change and a chilling forecast for the future.

    The upshot: The last 300 years have gotten wetter and wetter, making hurricanes ever more dangerous.

    "Our findings suggest that the maximum amount of rainfall from these storms is increasing and is likely going to continue to...

    Air pollution impacts the youngest humans, with new research linking dirty air to almost 6 million premature births and almost 3 million underweight babies worldwide in 2019.

    More than 90% of the world's population lives with polluted outdoor air, a new study points out. And its effects continue through the years: Preemies or children with low birth weight have higher rates of major illne...

    In a move to combat global warming, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Thursday that it will restrict U.S. production and use of hydrofluorocarbons by 85% over the next 15 years.

    Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are potent greenhouse gases often used in refrigerators and air conditioners, and they are vastly more powerful than carbon dioxide. These gases can leak into the a...

    It's fair to say most bosses want their employees to have high productivity.

    Unfortunately, the air that office workers breathe may put a damper on quick thinking and fast work.

    A new study found increased concentrations of fine particulate matter, called PM2.5, and lower ventilation rates were linked to slower response times and reduced accuracy.

    "PM2.5 is a very nasty pollut...

    Twenty years on, responders to the World Trade Center attacks in New York City are showing increased risks of certain cancers, two new studies confirm.

    Researchers found higher-than-average rates of prostate cancer among firefighters, medics and other workers who toiled at the disaster site on and after Sept. 11, 2001.

    And compared with firefighters from other major U.S. cities...

    Workers, take heed: Your place of work can help bring on or exacerbate asthma, a new study suggests.

    Common workplace triggers include poor ventilation and moldy air conditioning systems, cleaning products and even the toner used in printers, the researchers said. Employees with asthma caused by the office environment often quit, the researchers said, especially if employers don't do anyt...

    Wildfires are killing people around the world -- even those with limited exposure to wildfire-related pollution, an international team of researchers reports.

    The new research revealed that short-term exposure to wildfire-related fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in the air is i...

    Twenty years on from the terrible event itself, weight loss may reduce the risk of lung disease among 9/11 first responders, a new study suggests.

    "Our findings should reassure World Trade Center first responders that there are steps they can take to protect their lungs even decades after exposure," said co-lead author Dr. Sophia Kwon. She's a fellow in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical...

    The greener your neighborhood, the lower your risk of heart disease.

    That's the takeaway from a new study, which reported that adding to a neighborhood's green space can have a big payoff for public health.

    "For the cost of one emergency room visit for a heart attack, trees could be planted in a neighborhood with 100 residents and potentially prevent ten heart diseases," said study ...

    The health impact of wildfires is already huge, and new research suggests it might also raise a mom-to-be's risk for preterm birth, according to a new study.

    Wildfire smoke contains high levels of PM 2.5, the deadliest type of pollution from particles so fine they can embed deep in the lungs and pass into the bloodstream.

    "In the future, we expect to see more frequent and intense ex...

    The wildfire smoke now smothering wide portions of the United States isn't just stinging eyes and tightening chests -- it also might be contributing to the current surge of severe COVID-19 cases.

    Data from three Western states subject to frequent wildfires shows that COVID-19 cases and deaths increase with the amount of smoke pollution in the air, according to a new study.

    As wildfi...

    The benefits of regular outdoor exercise in areas with air pollution outweigh the risks, a new, long-term study claims.

    "Habitual exercise reduces the risk of death regardless of exposure to air pollution, and air pollution generally increases the risk of death regardless of habitual exercise," said researcher Dr. Xiang Qian Lao, from the Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Ca...

    It's long been know that polluted can damage the heart and lungs, but new research finds that it's bad for your brain, too.

    A long-term study by a Seattle team linked exposure to higher levels of fine particulate air pollution to an increased risk of dementia.

    "We found that an increase of 1 microgram per cubic meter of exposure corresponded to a 16% greater hazard of all-cause dem...

    Air pollution could cause sinus misery, new research suggests.

    Specifically, tiny particulate air pollution (known as PM2.5) could contribute to chronic rhinosinusitis, a condition in which the sinuses get infected or irritated, become swollen, are severely congested and secrete mucus into the throat for 12 weeks or more.

    "To our knowledge, this is the first study to report that lon...

    Air pollution causes you to gasp and wheeze. Smog puts strain on your hearts and inflames your lungs.

    Could dirty air also be costing you your brain health?

    A trio of new studies finds that air quality appears linked to a risk of thinking declines and dementia, and bad air might even promote toxic brain proteins that are a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease.

    "This is extremely ex...