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Ozone-Related Deaths Expected To Increase Over Next 60 Years

Ozone-Related Deaths Expected To Increase Over Next 60 Years

A new study presented this week at the European Respiratory Society’s (ERS) Annual Congress in Amsterdam found that climate change could have profound affect on global health and international fatality levels.

News of the study’s findings comes just days after the U.S. Senate voted to pass the TRAIN Act, legislation that will block the EPA’s proposed standards to control mercury and power plant pollution.

Using emission scenarios and models to assess the health impacts of a changing climate, predicted that Belgium, France, Spain and Portugal will see the biggest climate-induced increase in ozone-related deaths over the next 60 years.

Tropospheric, or ground-level, ozone forms primarily from reactions between two major classes of air pollutants: volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). According to the EPA, VOCs and NOx are emitted by cars, gas stations, oil based paints, power plants, industrial plants, and other sources.

Temperature increases caused by climate change will only exacerbate ozone air pollution, as these reactions depend on the presence of heat and sunlight.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), climate change that has occurred since the 1970s caused over 140,000 excess deaths annually by the year 2004. In addition to its impact on clean air, drinking water and crop production, many deadly diseases such as malaria and those which cause diarrhea are particularly sensitive to climate change.

“Outdoor air pollution is the biggest environmental threat in Europe,” said Professor Marc Decramer, President of the ERS. “If we do not act to reduce levels of ozone and other pollutants, we will see increased hospital admissions, extra medication and millions of lost working days. As part of the European Respiratory Roadmap, which was launched last month, the ERS is calling for a collaborative approach between health professionals and policy makers, to protect vulnerable populations from the damaging effects air pollutants can have.”

Related Reading:

Ozone Threats: 5 Things You Need To Know

Top Corporate Air Polluters Named

Why African Americans Should Care About Clean Air

“Eye of the Future” Gives Children Clean Air Hope

via ScienceDaily

Image Credit: Flickr – NASA Goddard

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59 comments

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2:33AM PST on Jan 7, 2012

Noted!

7:35AM PDT on Oct 12, 2011

I would love to know what tobacco smoking contributes to pollution? Non smokers make such huge issues about tobacco smoking but you never hear them complain about the other toxins that I think are more damaging than smoking tobacco.

12:24AM PDT on Sep 30, 2011

Interesting article....thanks

7:55PM PDT on Sep 29, 2011

The universe is trying to kill us. Not before time, we are a plague on the earth.

7:49PM PDT on Sep 29, 2011

Saw a city bus the other day, pn the side it said "this bus takes 44 cars off the road", only problem, the bus was empty except for the driver. How many cars is that bus the equivalent of?

7:47PM PDT on Sep 29, 2011

What a load of crap, air pollution way way down in last 40 years everywhere except Iran and China. More fear mongering...

The sky is falling, send me your money is the message.

7:29PM PDT on Sep 29, 2011

Alison V.........When China, Africa & S. America realizes
the affects all those cloned humans have now had on
Mother Earth I'm sure there will be massive programs
instilled to sterilize everybody & their mother.........That
is if we all don't die a slow death from all that man has
done to the only home we have!!

Plant & protect Danny's trees for life.
Trees are the lungs of the earth.

5:51PM PDT on Sep 29, 2011

When will they listen? When will they realize the Gr$$d will not buy them a mansion somewhere or anywhere~ after our Mother Earth has been raped too often?

5:33PM PDT on Sep 29, 2011

I'd be interested to see how China fares on that scale. The air in some places, particularly Beijing, is so thick with pollutants that the light resembles twilight at noon, and the air almost needs to be carved out and eaten, rather than breathed.

5:28PM PDT on Sep 29, 2011

THANKS.

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Beth Buczynski Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in... more
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