Two-year study in Canada finds large trucks disproportionately contribute to higher levels of black carbon pollution

A two-year study led by researchers at the University of Toronto has found large trucks to be the greatest contributors to black carbon emissions close to major roadways. The study is published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology. The comprehensive study led by U of T Professor Greg... Read more →


Study finds long-term exposure to air pollution negatively impacts cognitive performance and may become more pronounced with age

Researchers from China and the US have found that long-term exposure to air pollution impedes cognitive performance in verbal and math tests. In a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), they report that the effect of air pollution on verbal tests becomes more pronounced as... Read more →


PM2.5 pollution now associated with chronic kidney disease

Adding to the list of health issues associated with PM2.5 pollution, new open-access research published in PLOS ONE suggests that PM2.5 is connected with chronic kidney disease (CKD), which occurs when a person’s kidneys become damaged or cannot filter blood properly. Similar to smoking, air pollution contains harmful toxins that... Read more →


PM2.5 pollution shortens human lives by more than a year, according to a new open-access study from a team of environmental engineers and public health researchers published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters. Better air quality could lead to a significant extension of lifespans around the world.... Read more →


Study provides more insight into air pollution mechanisms that cause cardiovascular diseases

Air pollution, and fine dust in particular, is calculated to contribute to more than four million deaths each year. Almost 60% of deaths occur as a result of cardiovascular diseases. Scientists around Professor Thomas Münzel, Director of Cardiology I at the Department of Cardiology at the Medical Center Mainz of... Read more →


Babies in strollers can be exposed to up to ~60% higher average concentrations of pollution than their parents, causing potential damage to their frontal lobe and impacting on their cognitive abilities and brain development, according to a study by researchers at the University of Surrey (UK). In the study published... Read more →


Study concludes cycling is the urban transport mode associated with the greatest health benefits

A new study led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a center supported by the la Caixa Banking Foundation, has concluded that cycling is the mode of transport associated with the greatest health benefits: better self-perceived general health, better mental health and fewer feelings of loneliness. The study... Read more →


During the first three years of California’s 5-year-old cap-and-trade program, the bulk of the greenhouse gas reductions occurred out of state—i.e., state residents did not see the benefits of improved air quality from presumed reductions in harmful co-pollutants, such as particulate matter—according to a new study led by UC Berkeley... Read more →


Study links PM2.5 pollution to increased risk of diabetes; even low levels pose risk

A study by a team from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Veterans Affairs (VA) St. Louis Health Care System links PM2.5 pollution—even at levels deemed safe—to an increased risk of diabetes globally. The open-access findings, published in the journal The Lancet Planetary Health, raise the... Read more →


Mayor of London launches international study on effect of air pollution on children’s health: CHILL

More 3,000 primary school children in polluted areas of London and Luton will have their lung health monitored over a four-year period in a new international study launched by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. The CHILL study (Children’s Health in London & Luton) will test whether policies to improve... Read more →


Study suggests more active commute could cut risk of developing and dying from heart disease

People who are more active when commuting to work by walking or cycling could be cutting their relative risk of developing ischaemic heart disease or stroke by 11% and their relative risk of dying from these diseases by 30%, suggests an open-access study published in the BMJ journal Heart. Physical... Read more →


Study associates ozone exposure at birth to increased risk of developing asthma

A long-term study of the health of Canadian children has found that exposure to ozone (O3) at birth was associated with an 82% increased risk of developing asthma by age three. The study, which was a 10-year follow-up to the 2006 Toronto Child Health Evaluation Questionnaire (T-CHEQ), was presented at... Read more →


Study associates in-utero exposure to PM2.5 pollution with higher blood pressure in childhood

Children who were exposed to higher levels of PM2.5 air pollution during the third trimester of their mother’s pregnancy had a higher risk of elevated blood pressure in childhood, according to new research by a team led by researchers from Johns Hopkins University in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension.... Read more →


Cedars-Sinai study finds prolonged exposure to coarse PM in LA Basin air led to genetic changes in rat brains

Prolonged exposure to coarse particulate matter (PM2.5–10) in air pollution in the Los Angeles Basin triggered inflammation and the appearance of cancer-related genes in the brains of rats, a Cedars-Sinai study has found. Previous research has documented the association between air pollution and a variety of diseases, including cancer. This... Read more →


Study links traffic-related pollution to risk of asthma in children

New research led by scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health suggests that long-term exposure to traffic-related pollution significantly increases the risk of pediatric asthma, especially in early childhood. Their findings were published today in a Letter to the Editor... Read more →


WHO: 9 out of 10 people worldwide breathe polluted air; 7M deaths per year

New data from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants. Updated estimations reveal a death toll of 7 million people every year caused by ambient (outdoor) and household air pollution. Air pollution threatens us all, but the poorest... Read more →


NUS-led study: beltway to divert diesel trucks in São Paulo improved air quality and public health

A study by researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the University of São Paulo revealed that a beltway constructed to divert heavy-duty diesel vehicles traffic in the Brazilian city of São Paulo improved air quality and public health in the city. The study was published in the... Read more →


Seven billion people, more than 95% of the world’s population, lived in areas exceeding the WHO Guideline for healthy air in 2016, according to a new global study. Fifty-eight percent lived in areas with PM2.5 concentrations above above the WHO Interim Target 1 (IT-1, 35 μg/m3); 69% lived in areas... Read more →


Large-scale study associates even brief exposure to PM2.5 with childhood lung infections

Even the briefest increase in airborne PM2.5 is associated with the development of acute lower respiratory infection (ALRI) in young children, according to a new, large-scale study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, an American Thoracic Society journal. Increases in PM2.5 levels also led to... Read more →


New report released by UK House of Commons calls for advancing date for end of sale of conventional cars to before 2040

The UK House of Commons has released a new report on air pollution that calls for urgent action by national leadership to bring about a step change in how the problem of air quality is tackled. The joint inquiry resulting in the report “Improving Air Quality” was launched in 2017... Read more →


Air pollution exposure during fetal life linked to brain alterations and cognitive impairment in children

A new study performed in the Netherlands has linked exposure to residential air pollution during fetal life with brain abnormalities that may contribute to impaired cognitive function in school-age children. The study, published in Biological Psychiatry, reports that the air pollution levels related to brain alterations were below those considered... Read more →


German Environment Agency study finds NO2 concentrations have serious impact on health

Outdoor air concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in Germany have a serious impact on health, according to a new study published by the German Environment Agency (Umwelt Bundesamt, UBA). (The study was carried out on behalf of UBA by the Helmholtz Zentrum München and IVU Umwelt.) Statistics for 2014 indicate... Read more →


Researchers from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), with colleagues at other institutions in Canada and the UK, have found strong evidence that environmental exposures, including air pollution, affect gene expressions associated with respiratory diseases much more than genetic ancestry. The study, published as an open-access paper in Nature... Read more →


Study finds global emissions of ethane and propane underestimated by more than 50%

Global levels of the hydrocarbons ethane and propane in the atmosphere have been underestimated by more than 50%, according to a new study by a team of scientists from Europe and the US. When ethane and propane—the most abundant non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC) in the atmosphere—mix with nitrogen oxides from vehicles... Read more →


A new study by researchers at the Bourns College of Engineering, University of California, Riverside (UCR) and colleagues at the Manufacturers of Emission Controls Association (MECA) has found that catalyzed gasoline particulate filters (GPF) are effective not only at reducing particulate mass, black carbon, and total and solid particle number... Read more →


Consumer products such as shampoo, cleaning products and paint now contribute as much to emitted volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in cities as tailpipe emissions from vehicles, according to a new study led by NOAA. The results, published in an open-access paper in the journal Science, suggest that the focus of... Read more →


Study finds rapid increases in nitrogen oxides may be as harmful to the heart as sustained levels

Rapid increases in pollution may be as harmful to the heart as sustained high levels, according to new research published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. The authors urgently call for confirmatory studies as even residents of clean air cities could be at risk. There is longstanding evidence that... Read more →


Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) and Haifa Municipality have begun operating a low-emission zone (LEZ). As of 2 February 2018, polluting heavy diesel vehicles were no longer allowed in downtown Haifa. These buses and trucks must install a particulate filter in order to enter the restricted area. The creation... Read more →


IMO sub-committee moving forward on prohibiting carriage of high-sulfur fuel oil

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR) has agreed to move forward with a prohibition on the carriage of high-sulfur fuel oil for use on board ships, when that fuel oil is not compliant with a new low-sulfur limit which comes into force from 2020.... Read more →


Marine shipping fuels will get cleaner in 2020 when a regulation by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) requires a decrease in the allowable amount of sulfur in fuel oil from 3.5% to 0.5%—i.e., from 35,000 parts per million (ppm) to 5,000 ppm. This marks the most significant improvement in global... Read more →


Ozone levels across much of North America and Europe dropped significantly between 2000 and 2014. Even so, during 2010-2014, people in parts of California, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, the Midwest and the Middle Atlantic still experienced more than 15 days a year in which ozone levels exceeded the US health-based air... Read more →


UMD IBBR awarded DOE grant to investigate how to protect biofuel crop poplar trees from disease

The University of Maryland (UMD) Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR) has been awarded a $1.1million US Department of Energy (DOE) grant to elucidate the mechanism of rust pathogenesis in poplar in an effort to engineer durable resistance for this important, second-generation biofuel crop. The aim of the three-year... Read more →


Study: air pollution may shorten telomeres in newborns; a sign of increased health risks

A study conducted before and after the 2004 closure of a coal-burning power plant in Tongliang, China, found that children born before the closure had shorter telomeres than those conceived and born after the plant stopped polluting the air. Results appear in the journal Environment International. Telomeres are specialized sections... Read more →


The 2018 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) finds that air quality is the leading environmental threat to public health. The EPI uses three indicators to measure air quality: household solid fuel use; PM2.5 average exposure, and PM2.5 exceedance of WHO thresholds. Recent research cited by the EPI suggests that around five... Read more →


IMechE report calls for new Clean Air Act in UK

A new report by the UK-based Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) calls for urgent action to tackle the damage to health caused by air pollution. Health problems range from slowing the proper development of children’s lungs through to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases among the elderly. A 2016 report by the... Read more →


Researchers at the University of Alberta (Canada) have shown for the first time that road dust is photochemically active; i.e., sunlight causes chemical reactions in the dust. Road dust resuspension is a major source of particulate matter in many urban centers—especially those in which traction materials are applied to roadways... Read more →


Study: air pollution along Utah’s Wasatch Front causes more than 200 pneumonia cases each year

Air pollution trapped along the Wasatch Front by winter inversions is estimated to send more than 200 people to the emergency room with pneumonia each year, according to a study by University of Utah Health and Intermountain Healthcare. Bad air quality especially erodes the health of adults over age 65,... Read more →


Short-term exposure to low levels of air pollution linked with premature death among US seniors

A new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health links short-term exposures to fine particulate air pollution and ozone—even at levels well below current national safety standards—to higher risk of premature death among the elderly in the US. The risk was even higher among elderly who were low-income,... Read more →


Study finds Leipzig Low Emission Zone removed most dangerous particles; NOx remained nearly constant

Leipzig’s Low Emission Zone was established in March 2011, allowing only access of Euro 4 and higher diesel vehicles, with few exceptions. A joint scientific study by the Saxon State Office of the Environment, Agriculture and Geology (LfULG) and the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS) has found that the... Read more →


Johns Hopkins study links exposure to coarse particulate matter to increased risk of asthma in children

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University report that coarse particulate matter—created by physical processes such as tire and break wear, agricultural tilling, salt spray and dust created in manufacturing—appears to put children at greater risk for asthma, independent of exposure to fine particulate pollution. A paper on the work will... Read more →


Chicago Area Clean Cities names American Lung Association 2017 Clean Fuels Champion

The American Lung Association has been named the 2017 Clean Fuels Champion by Chicago Area Clean Cities (CACC), a nonprofit coalition dedicated to promoting clean-energy and clean-air solutions for transportation in the Chicago area impacting nearly 9 million people. The Clean Fuels Champion was awarded last night at the coalition’s... Read more →


Europe’s transport sector is making only mixed progress in meeting its environment, health and climate policy targets, according to the latest European Environment Agency (EEA) assessment which tracks the short and long-term environmental performance of this key economic sector across the European Union. The EEA Briefing “Transport and Environment Reporting... Read more →


Two new studies of road air pollution in London find detrimental effects on over-60s and unborn babies

Exposure to air pollution on city streets is enough to counter the beneficial health effects of exercise in adults over 60, according to new research led by Imperial College London and Duke University. These findings, published in as open-access paper in The Lancet, show that short term exposure to air... Read more →


Toronto study: bursty noise levels from public transport or biking could induce hearing loss

The noise levels to which commuters are exposed while using public transport or while biking could induce hearing loss if experienced repeatedly and over long periods of time, according to a study by researchers at the University of Toronto. Their open-access paper is published in the Journal of Otolaryngology -... Read more →


Ford is working with California-based Ekso Bionics to test the use of exoskeleton technology for Ford assembly workers. Some Ford assembly line workers lift their arms during overhead work tasks some 4,600 times per day, or about 1 million times per year. At this rate, the possibility of fatigue or... Read more →


Ozone pollution near Earth’s surface is one of the main ingredients of summertime smog. It is also not directly measurable from space due to the abundance of ozone higher in the atmosphere, which obscures measurements of surface ozone. New NASA-funded research has devised a way to use satellite measurements of... Read more →


Tsinghua study finds China’s actions have cut PM2.5 concentrations 21.5% from 2013-2015; PM2.5-related mortality down 9.1%

Air pollution in China, especially in mega-metropolitan areas, is a matter of concern due to its impact on public health; outdoor PM2.5 exposure contributed to approximately 1.22 million deaths in China in 2013. China’s measures to improve its air quality are working, but more stringent policies should be put in... Read more →


The global toll of chronic kidney disease (CKD) attributable to PM2.5 pollution is significant, according to an analysis presented at ASN (American Society of Nephrology) Kidney Week. Benjamin Bowe, MPH, (Clinical Epidemiology Center at the VA Saint Louis Health Care System) and his colleagues previously described an association between increased... Read more →


Ports of LA, Long Beach approve 2017 Clean Air Action Plan; targeted GHG reductions; zero-emissions on-road drayage by 2035

The governing boards of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach unanimously approved the 2017 Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) Update, ushering in a new era of aggressive clean air strategies for moving cargo through the nation’s busiest container port complex. The document provides high-level guidance for accelerating progress... Read more →


Large scale epidemiological study associates PM2.5, NO2 pollution with kidney, bladder and colorectal cancer death

Air pollution is classified as carcinogenic to humans given its association with lung cancer, but there is little evidence for its association with cancer at other body sites. However, in a new large-scale prospective study led by the Barcelona Institute of Global Health (ISGlobal), an institution supported by the “la... Read more →