Short-term exposure to low levels of air pollution linked with premature death among US seniors

27 Dec 2017   Air Quality, USA

A new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health links short-term exposures to fine particulate air pollution and ozone—even at levels well below current national safety standards—to higher risk of premature death among the elderly in the US. The risk was even higher among elderly who were low-income, female, or non-white. The study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). This the most comprehensive study of short-term exposure to pollution and mortality to date. We found that the mortality rate increases almost linearly as air pollution increases. Any level of air pollution, no matter how low, is harmful to human health. —Francesca Dominici, professor of biostatistics, co-director of the Harvard Data Science Initiative, and senior author of the study. Past studies have shown that PM 2.5 and ozone—particularly warm-season ozone which occurs from April to September—are linked with increased mortality rates. Under the […]


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