Respiratory Disease

Influenza, pneumonia, air pollution

One of the preventable big killers – though preventable in a difficult way that you may have to sacrifice your job, community and city life to avoid it.

I’ll keep track on these pages of big studies on mortality and also any studies on effectiveness of masks or other measures that could reduce the impact.

Resources

Real time Air Quality map – World Air Quality Index (AQI)

Consumer Grade Air Quality Monitors

Must be able to monitor PM2.5

Indoor

Portable

Latest News

Cruise ship air quality worse than polluted cities – Independent – 4-Jul-2017

Each day a cruise ship emits as much particulate matter as a million cars.
Air on the deck downwind of the ship’s funnels had 84,000 ultra-fine particulates per cubic centimetre.
Figure for London’s Piccadilly Circus was only 38,400.
Short term exposure can cause increasing respiratory symptoms.

Flow is a wearable air pollution tracker that might help you live longer – Wareable – 3-Jan-2017
Small memory stick-like dongle.
Crowdsources data with other devices to build a map of air quality.
Tracks PM2.5, NOx, Ozone and VOCs.
Glanceable LED interface as well as app.
The Flow will launch later this year, with a price yet to be announced.

Can we rely on DIY air pollution sensors? – The Conversation – 2-Dec-2016
There has been a rapid growth of small, inexpensive sensors, but do they measure what users think they are measuring?
Readings can be affected by conditions such as varying temperatures or relative humidity.
If we rely on poor measurements and reach incorrect conclusions, we will fail to protect public health.

Giant air cleaner unveiled – BBC – 26-Oct-2016
Envinity Group has unveiled a large outside air purifier that can clean about 800,000 cubic metres of air per hour.
8m long steel industrial filter works like a big vacuum cleaner.
Sucks in air from a 300m radius and up to 7km above.
Filter out 100% of fine particles and 95% of ultra-fine particles.
About 90% of EU residents are said to be exposed to high levels of such particles.

World’s largest air purifier to clean up smog in China – Wired – 3-Oct-2016
Daan Roosegaarde’s seven-metre purifier has been installed in Beijing 751 D.Park
Smog Free Tower is the largest air purifier in the world.
Cleans 30 m3 per hour using ozone-free ion technology.
Captures and collects more than 75 per cent of the PM2.5 and PM10 airborne smog particles.

Health of more than 90% of world’s population affected by air pollution – Independent – 27-Sep-2016
Interactive map produced by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Vast areas of the world are bathed in tiny particles from pollutants such as sulphate, nitrates and black carbon.
These PM2.5 and PM10 particles can cause heart attacks, strokes and lung cancer.
In England, only the rural north-west and parts of Cornwall and Devon are below WHO safety limit.
ClientEarth is using the courts to force governments to uphold people’s right to clean air.
COMMENT: its surprising that there isn’t a big orange patch over London

Link Between Air Pollution and Stroke Risk – Fight Aging! – 10-Jun-2016
10 leading risk factors for stroke:
– high blood pressure
– diet low in fruit
– high body mass index (BMI)
– diet high in sodium
– smoking
– diet low in vegetables
– environmental air pollution
– household pollution from solid fuels
– diet low in whole grains
– high blood sugar
10% of disability associated with stroke is linked to air pollution.
This is only half of the risk attributed to smoking.
Data from the Global Burden of Disease Study to estimate the disease burden of stroke associated with 17 risk factors in 188 countries.
COMMENT: consider buying a PM2.5 air filter for your home

Farming is biggest cause of worst type of air pollution in Europe – Guardian – 17-May-2016
When nitrogen compounds from farming mix with air already polluted from industry, they combine to form solid PM2.5 particles.
Nitrogen compounds come from fertilisers  and animal waste.
PM2.5 particles penetrate deep into people’s lungs and can cause breathing problems and also heart disease.

Benefits of exercise outweigh air pollution – BBC News – 5-May-2016
You breath more during exercise – so what if the air you’re breathing is polluted?
Cambridge University have used computer simulations to balance the harm and benefits.
In a typical city you’d have to cycle for 7 hours, or walk 16, in a day before the air pollution cancelled out the benefit of exercise.
Air pollution contributes to 40,000 early deaths each year in the UK.
Regular exercise reduces the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and several cancers.
Dr James Woodcock added: “It is not an argument for inaction in combating pollution.”

How bad is UK air pollution? (VIDEO) – BBC News – 1-Mar-2016
Market towns as well as big cities regularly breaking EU nitrogen dioxide limits.
Problem similar to 1950s smog – but is invisible.
Simulation shows canyon effect trapping vehicle pollutants between tall buildings.
Linked to heart and lung disease as well as strokes.

Air pollutants in our homes claim thousands of lives – Telegraph – 20-Feb-2016
Indoor air pollution contributes to 99,000 deaths annually in Europe.
Causes include:
1. carbon monoxide from faulty boilers and heaters
2. particulates and nitrogen oxides from heating and cooking appliances
3. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in air fresheners, deodorants and cleaning products.

Polluted air causes 5.5 million deaths a year – BBC News – 13-Feb-2016
Most of these deaths in rapidly developing economies.
In Beijing or Delhi PM2.5 levels can be 10 times recommended limit.
In the US for every dollar spent on air improvements there is between $4-$30 benefit in reduced health impacts

Indoor air purifiers may aid heart patients – Reuters – 28-May-2015
Significant improvements in inflammation and blood clotting after only 48 hours

Court orders UK to cut NO2 air pollution – BBC News – 29-Apr-15
29,000  early deaths a year in the UK from air pollution – more than obesity and alcohol combined

Breathe Cam Lets Citizens Document Pittsburgh’s Visual Air Pollution and Its Sources – Breathe Project – 3-Dec-14

The Breathe Project is a coalition of residents, businesses, government and many other groups in southwestern Pennsylvania that are working together to clean up our air for the health of our families and economy.

Air pollution to blame for 60,000 early deaths per year – The Independent – 30-Nov-14

EU court rules UK government must clean up dangerous air pollution  – The Guardian – 19-Nov-14

 

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