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Air pollution linked to increased risk of death

New research from Canada has shown that polluted air (even that at levels below national and international air quality guidelines) is associated with an increased risk of deaths.

Air pollution linked to increased risk of death
Air pollution
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A study from the University of British Columbia, in partnership with Statistics Canada, McGill University, Dalhousie University, University of New Brunswick and Oregon State University, has found that there is at least a 5 per cent increase in the risk of deaths of Canadians when comparing between high and low-pollution areas.

This is “concerning”, UBC professor and lead study author Michael Brauer said, because “millions of Canadians live in high-pollution areas and the aggregate impact is substantial”.

Mr Brauer said that despite Canada being one of the few countries that meet World Health Organisation air quality guidelines, the study suggests that air pollution at any concentration is hurting Canadians and the world population.

“These findings also suggest health benefits from continued improvements in air quality in Canada,” he said.

Among the researchers’ other discoveries was that new immigrants to Canada are equally or more sensitive to the health impacts of air pollution.

“Due to mandatory health screenings that are required prior to moving to Canada, new immigrants are considered being, in general, healthier than those currently living in Canada,” said Mr Brauer.

“The fact that new immigrants are as sensitive or more sensitive to air pollution compared to Canadians further suggests air pollution affects everyone, even those in good health.”

The researchers said air pollution is the fourth-highest risk factor for death globally and by far the leading environmental risk factor for diseases.

Reducing air pollution is an efficient way to improve the health of a population, they said.

Jerome Doraisamy

Jerome Doraisamy

Jerome Doraisamy is a senior writer for Lawyers Weekly and Wellness Daily at Momentum Media.

Before joining the team in early 2018, Jerome is admitted as a solicitor in New South Wales and, prior to joining the team in early 2018, he worked in both commercial and governmental legal roles and has worked as a public speaker and consultant to law firms, universities and high schools across the country and internationally. He is also the author of The Wellness Doctrines self-help book series and is an adjunct lecturer at The University of Western Australia.

Jerome graduated from the University of Technology, Sydney with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Social Inquiry).

You can email Jerome at: [email protected] 

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