It’s widely known through the Air Quality Research Center that outdoor air pollution leads to untimely deaths throughout the world, however, a recent publication by Dr. Erwan Monier, Associate Professor of Climate Change Impacts in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, and associates demonstrated that many of these deaths are a result of cross-state air pollution.
A recent collaborative study between Harvard and UC Davis produced data backing the notion that nanoparticles (NP) more frequently crossed the air-blood lung barrier to the rest of the body in infant rats than adults. Fascinatingly, this higher permeability demonstrates immature lungs do not follow the same directives as mature lungs.
At the 2018 American Thoracic Society International Conference, UC Davis researcher, Dr. Laura Van Winkleand Dr. Kent Pinkerton participated in a cross-disciplinary evaluation of the evidence gathered over 30 years concerning the potential for outdoor air pollution to contribute to the onset of new airway disease.
A recent study by the University of Leeds and the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen divulged PM2.5 had only a small reduction across China and it was not lowered at all in Northeast China. The PM2.5 reduction of 11% across China was disappointing in comparison to the reduction 27% of NO2 across China.
Lead author Ben Silver, from the University of Leeds, said: “PM2.5 particles had only a modest reduction and are the most harmful constituent of air pollution, as they travel deep into the lungs and bloodstream and damage the lungs and heart.
More and more we are seeing results from recent studies showing a correlation between higher COVID-19 death rates and people who live in air pollution riddled areas. Both in Italy and the United States, people that reside in areas with higher concentrations of PM2.5 in the atmosphere are at least 12% more likely to not survive a bout with COVID-19. These findings are consistent with the findings from the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak that claimed 349 lives in China.
The New York Times writer, Nadja Popovich, reports that after nearly a decade of improving the air quality nationally, the US EPA's data shows that PM 2.5 has increased in the past two years. This 180 turn of progress has been identified as likely primarily coming from increases in driving and the burning of natural gas. However, in the West, wildfires has been a large cause of the increase as well. Researchers suggest that due to a decrease of enforcement of the Clean Air Act, less businesses are concerned with their pollution.
The Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) network measures the chemical composition of atmospheric particulate matter at over 160 locations throughout the United States. As part of the routine quality control process, we noted decreases in the network-wide vanadium (V) and nickel (Ni) concentrations in 2015 relative to the previous years. Enriched V and Ni with respect to soil are indicative of heavy fuel oil burning and are often used as tracers for emissions from marine vessels.