In the joint research by scientists from Australia and China, it has been revealed that only a small portion of the world’s population lives by the pollution limits for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) set by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The study, published in The Lancet Planetary Health, found that people are exposed to air pollution in excess of 15 μg/m3, which the World Health Organization says is safe, on more than 70 percent of days during the year.
Scientists have stated that particulate matter pollution, or particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers, originates from vehicle exhaust, fuel burned in power plants and other facilities, and wildfires.
Professor at Monash University Yuming Guo announced that they have developed a new method that combines traditional air quality observations with satellite-based meteorology, air pollution detectors, and statistical and machine learning methods to more accurately measure particulate pollution worldwide.
Guo explained that they divided the earth’s surface into sections of about ten square kilometers and focused on areas that exceed the pollution rate set by the World Health Organization, and said that they used an innovative method by collecting multiple meteorological and geological information from the years 2000-2019.
Only 100,000 of the world’s population lives within safe limits in terms of air pollution.
As a result of the research, it was determined that the annual incidence of fine particle pollution and days of exposure to higher pollution over the nearly 20 years for which the data were assessed has decreased in Europe and North America, but increased in Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Zealand, Latin America and the Caribbean.
In addition, South and East Asia and North Africa experience high fine particulate pollution on 90 percent of the days during the year, with the lowest concentration of pollution in Australia and New Zealand, followed by the rest of Oceania and South America.
In the study, it was determined that only one hundred thousand of the world’s population lives under fine particulate pollution values (average 5 μg / m3) according to the World Health Organization limits for the year 2021, and only 18 per thousand of the Earth’s population in the world. The area corresponds to the mentioned level.
The risk of developing Parkinson’s disease increases in direct proportion to air pollution
On the other hand, a study conducted in the United States revealed that air pollution increases the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
In research presented at the 75th annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, the health values of 22 million 500 thousand people were examined.
The researchers determined that 83,674 of the people had Parkinson’s disease. The rate of Parkinson’s disease in the areas where these people lived was compared to the rates of Parkinson’s disease in areas with high air pollution.
As a result of the comparison, 434 Parkinson’s patients were found in areas with an average of 19 μg/m3 fine particulate pollution per year, while 359 cases per 100 thousand were detected in areas with 5 μg/m3 pollution per year.
After excluding other factors that can influence disease risk, such as age, smoking, and medical care, the researchers found that those exposed to high particulate matter pollution had a 25 percent greater risk of developing Parkinson’s disease than those exposed to low pollution.
Previous research has shown that air pollution leads to lower blood pressure in adolescents.
British scientists found that exposure to high levels of nitrogen dioxide, as well as fine particle pollution, disrupts the circadian rhythm in young people, affects blood pressure and causes hypotension.
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