Air pollution was responsible for 1.1 million deaths across Africa in 2019, with household air pollution—driven largely by indoor cookstoves—accounting for 697,000 fatalities (64%), while increased outdoor air pollution claimed 394,000 lives (36%), a team of researchers led by Boston College and the UN Environment Programme report in an open-access... Read more →


New WHO has issued new Global Air Quality Guidelines (AQGs) that reduce levels of key air pollutants, some of which also contribute to climate change. Since WHO’s last 2005 global update, there has been a marked increase of evidence that shows how air pollution affects different aspects of health. For... Read more →


HEI study in Europe finds evidence of health effects at lower levels of air pollution

A major new Health Effects Institute (HEI) report presents a study examining associations between exposures to relatively low levels of air pollution and several health outcomes among participants in 22 European cohorts. In the report, the investigators describe the development of new exposure models for all of Europe for four... Read more →


Use of leaded gasoline officially ends worldwide

When service stations in Algeria stopped providing leaded gasoline in July, the use of leaded gasoline in cars ended globally. This development follows an almost two-decades-long campaign by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)-led global Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV). Tetraethyl lead was used as a gasoline additive to... Read more →


Monitoring shows plumes of carcinogenic formaldehyde in neighborhoods along Houston’s Ship Channel

Air pollution monitoring by the Houston Health Department in 2019 and 2020 recorded levels of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, along the Houston Ship Channel that pose potential health risks to surrounding neighborhoods. The analysis, funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency, found that from 27 September 2019 to 26 September... Read more →


Some of the world’s cities suffer disproportionate economic losses because of the health consequences of in-car air pollution, according to a new study by an international team led by researchers at the University of Surrey (UK). Surrey’s Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE) set out to investigate whether the... Read more →


Study finds lead from leaded gasoline persists in London air despite ‘90s ban

Lead levels in London’s atmosphere have dropped significantly since lead additives in gasoline were phased out, and currently meet UK air quality targets. However, despite this drop, airborne particles in London are still highly lead-enriched compared to natural background levels, according to new research published in the Proceedings of the... Read more →


Soot particles from oil and wood heating systems as well as road traffic can pollute the air in Europe on a much larger scale than previously assumed. This is what researchers from the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS) conclude from a measurement campaign in the Thuringian Forest in Germany.... Read more →


EPA to reconsider particulate matter NAAQS

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it will reconsider the previous administration’s decision to retain the particulate matter (PM) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) (earlier post), which were last strengthened in 2012. EPA is reconsidering the December 2020 decision because it says that available scientific evidence and... Read more →


Researchers develop algorithms for early detection of mild cognitive impairment and dementia using naturalistic driving data

Using naturalistic driving data and machine learning techniques, researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and Columbia’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science have developed highly accurate algorithms for detecting mild cognitive impairment and dementia in older drivers. Naturalistic driving data refer to data captured through... Read more →


Study finds short-term exposure to air pollution may impede cognition; NSAIDs could help

Exposure to air pollution, even over the course of just a few weeks, can impede mental performance, according to a new study led by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. However, these adverse effects were lessened in people taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin. The... Read more →


Study finds particulates are even more dangerous than previously thought

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have for the first time observed photochemical processes inside organic aerosol particles containing iron. In doing so, they discovered that additional oxygen radicals that can be harmful to human health are formed in these aerosols under everyday conditions. They report on their results... Read more →


A team led by NYU Grossman School of Medicine researchers measured real-time and gravimetric PM2.5 concentrations and particle composition from area samples collected in the subways of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Boston, Massachusetts; New York City, New York/New Jersey (NYC/NJ); and Washington, District of Columbia. A total of 71 stations across 12... Read more →


Less traffic on the roads during the first COVID-19 lockdown in the UK led to a reduction in air pollution but may have caused potentially damaging surface ozone levels to rise, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of York. The open-access study, published in the... Read more →


New study puts air-pollution related deaths in India in 2019 at 1.67 million

Air pollution in India resulted 1.67 million deaths in 2019—the largest pollution-related death toll in any country in the world—and also accounted for $36.8 billion (US) in economic losses, according to a new study led by researchers from the Global Observatory on Pollution and Health at Boston College, the Indian... Read more →


Researchers discover that a ubiquitous tire rubber–derived chemical is killing coho salmon in urban waterways: 6PPD-quinone

A team led by researchers at the University of Washington Tacoma, UW and Washington State University Puyallup have found that a highly toxic oxidation product of tire rubber particles turns streams toxic and may be responsible for the annual die-offs observed among migrating adult salmon across the US Pacific Northwest.... Read more →


EEA: 3/4 of EU urban population exposed to toxic air as governments fail to cut emissions

Most Europeans living in cities are still breathing air that is dangerous to their health, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA) in a new report; governments are not doing enough to cut toxic emissions at source, campaigners warn. Data show that harmful emissions, especially from farming and domestic heating,... Read more →


Study associates acute exposure to higher ozone levels to higher risk of cardiac arrest

Exposure to higher ozone concentrations in the air is significantly associated with a higher risk of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), according to preliminary research to be presented at the American Heart Association’s Resuscitation Science Symposium 2020. The virtual meeting is being held 14-16 November 2020 and will feature the most... Read more →


In its fight against COVID-19 and for the protection of bus occupants, Daimler Buses is relying on a high fresh air content, a fast exchange of air and anti-viral high-performance particle filters in its vehicles. The effectiveness of these protective measures has been confirmed by a research report issued by... Read more →


Study finds significant link between PM2.5 pollution and neurological disorders in US

PM2.5 pollution was significantly associated with an increased risk of hospital admissions for several neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other dementias, in a long-term study of more than 63 million older US adults, led by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The study, conducted... Read more →


Texas A&M University researchers have developed a conceptual model to identify systematically the potential health impacts of self-driving vehicles. They identified 32 transportation-related risk factors that affected health and concluded that 17 could negatively impact public health, while eight could have a positive impact. There were seven areas of uncertain... Read more →


Volvo Cars has introduced a world-first premium air quality technology in its cars, allowing Volvo drivers to breathe clean and healthy air inside their cars and clean the air of their cabin ahead of their journey. The company’s new Advanced Air Cleaner technology comes with a sensor that measures PM2.5... Read more →


CARB targets heavy-duty diesel vehicle noncompliance in the Imperial Valley

The California Air Resources Board settled eight diesel cases totaling more than $130,000 for violations of the Truck and Bus Regulation in the Imperial Valley. The Truck and Bus Regulation protects public health by reducing emissions of diesel particulate matter, oxides of nitrogen, and other pollutants from diesel-fueled vehicles. This... Read more →


Study: PM2.5 exposure linked to higher risk of young children developing asthma

Children exposed to higher levels of PM2.5 in the air are more likely to develop asthma and persistent wheezing than children who are not exposed, according to an open-access study by researchers in Denmark published in the BMJ. Other risk factors associated with a higher risk of developing asthma and... Read more →


New research shows air pollution could play a role in development of cardiometabolic diseases, diabetes

Air pollution is the world’s leading environmental risk factor, and causes more than nine million deaths per year. New research published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation shows air pollution may play a role in the development of cardiometabolic diseases, such as diabetes. Importantly, the effects were reversible with cessation... Read more →


NUS researcher links air pollution to increased residential electricity demand

A study conducted by Associate Professor Alberto Salvo from the Department of Economics at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences found that households respond to ambient air pollution by increasing electricity consumption, which in turn increases the carbon emissions that are co-produced in supplying... Read more →


Study: 25% EV adoption would save US $17B annually from avoided climate change & pollution damages

A new study led by researchers from Northwestern University projects that if electric vehicles replaced 25% of combustion engine cars currently on the road, the United States would save approximately $17 billion annually by avoiding damages from climate change and air pollution. The open-access paper is published in AGU’s journal... Read more →


Researchers find air pollution impacts the health of wild pollinators

In some of the first research to try to address the physiological and molecular impacts of air pollution on wild plants and animals, scientists from the Bangalore Life Science Cluster in India report that air pollution could be devastating for organisms we rely on most for our own survival—like the... Read more →


UGA study links heavy-metal contamination to antibiotic resistance

Using a process known as genomic analysis, University of Georgia scientists have found a strong correlation between antibiotic resistance and heavy metal contamination in an environment. Jesse C. Thomas IV, an alumnus of the College of Public Health and the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, found commonalities in soils contaminated with... Read more →


Particulate air pollution continues to cut global life expectancy by nearly two years as progress in some countries counterbalances worsening air quality in others, according to the Air Quality Life Index (AQLI). Produced by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC), the AQLI is based on frontier... Read more →


Large improvements of air quality in China during the lockdown have been widely reported, but new research shows that two pollutants harmful to human health—fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone—were only slightly reduced. The study, by scientists from the University of Leeds, UK and the Southern University of Science and... Read more →


Hyundai Motor Group announced new technologies to improve the quality of air in vehicles and to create a more pleasant in-vehicle environment for customers. Recognizing the growing concern about air quality, the Group unveiled three new air-conditioning technologies: ‘After-Blow’, ‘Multi-Air Mode’, and ‘Fine Dust Indicator’. The technologies will be introduced... Read more →


Study finds automatic monitors significantly improve the quality of pollution data reported in China

A new study finds that automated pollution monitors in China led to more accurate readings and that citizens used this information to protect themselves better against the harms of air pollution. Less than a decade ago, not only was air pollution a recognized problem in China, but many didn’t trust... Read more →


Navistar settles air quality violations in California for $2 million

Truck manufacturer Navistar Inc. has paid $2 million to resolve allegations that it altered heavy-duty vehicle engines from their certified design, potentially causing excess diesel emissions and negatively impacting air quality. The Illinois-based company modified its vehicle calibrations from their certified design through “running changes” in the engines of its... Read more →


Study: traffic density, wind and air stratification influence concentrations of NO2

In connection with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, satellite measurements made headlines showing how much the air pollutant nitrogen dioxide (NO2) had decreased in China and northern Italy. In Germany, traffic density is the most important factor. However, weather also has an influence on NO2 concentrations, according to a... Read more →


EPA adds 1-bromopropane to list of hazardous air pollutants; first addition since 1990

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted petitions to add 1-bromopropane (1-BP) to the list of hazardous air pollutants regulated under the Clean Air Act (CAA). This is the first time since 1990 that EPA has granted a petition to add a hazardous air pollutant to the CAA. Petitioners... Read more →


Fewer wild animals, including threatened mountain lions, are becoming roadkill during shelter-in-place orders, according to a study on three states from the University of California, Davis. Using traffic and collision data collected from California, Idaho and Maine, the researchers found that wildlife-vehicle conflict has declined by 21-56 percent from early... Read more →


A team of researchers, led by Professor Gavin Shaddick at the University of Exeter, has shown that, despite global efforts to improve air quality, half of the world’s population is exposed to increasing air pollution. The study, carried out with the World Health Organization, suggests that air pollution constitutes a... Read more →


UC Davis study: traffic-related air pollution impacts early brain development

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have found a link between traffic-related air pollution and an increased risk for changes in brain development relevant to neurodevelopmental disorders. Their study, based on rodent models, corroborates previous epidemiological evidence showing this association. While air pollution has long been a concern for... Read more →


Though their designs have changed considerably over the past two decades, late-model SUVs still appear to be more likely to kill pedestrians than cars, a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found. Thanks to advances in safety, the number of people killed in motor vehicle crashes in... Read more →


A study led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a center supported by the “la Caixa” Foundation, contributes new evidence about the negative impact of air pollution on cardiovascular health. The results of the study, which analyzed the relationship between several cardiovascular markers and personal exposure to two... Read more →


UCLA study shows how air pollution can lead to damage to brain cells; zebrafish and Parkinson’s

A new UCLA study in zebrafish identified the process by which air pollution can damage brain cells, potentially contributing to Parkinson’s disease. Published in the journal Toxicological Sciences, the findings show that chemicals in diesel exhaust can trigger the toxic buildup of a protein in the brain called alpha-synuclein, which... Read more →


A study by an international team of researchers led by Aalto University finds that less than one-third of the world’s population could currently meet their demand for food with food produced in their local vicinity. The paper is published in the journal Nature Food. Globalization has revolutionized food production and... Read more →


The first VOCSN V+Pro critical care ventilators produced by General Motors and Ventec Life Systems in Kokomo, Indiana (earlier post) are being delivered by UPS to Franciscan Health Olympia Fields in Olympia Fields, Illinois and Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago at the direction of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. With... Read more →


Hyundai Motor America expanded its support for COVID-19 drive-thru testing to 22 hospitals nationwide with $4 million in grants through its Hyundai Hope On Wheels program. These grants are designed to combat the coronavirus by providing increased access to testing throughout the nation. The company also announced an in-kind donation... Read more →


Ford develops and begins manufacturing new powered respirator; expanding other COVID-19 efforts

Ford, with design and testing consultation from 3M, has developed a new powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR). Production of this PAPR starts today at Ford’s Vreeland facility near Flat Rock, Mich., with paid UAW volunteers, with the ability to make 100,000 or more. In addition to the current production of more... Read more →


Researchers from Surrey’s Global Center for Clean Air Research (GCARE) in the UK have investigated the amount of harmful air pollutants babies potentially inhale while out in a stroller with their parents or caretakers. The study looked at three different stroller types—single facing the road, single facing the adult and... Read more →


Current analysis by Strategy Analytics (SA) indicates that the severity of the COVID-19-induced 2020 Recession as measured by change in Real GDP will be unprecedented looking back to the Great Depression. The recession will disrupt Automotive, Consumer Electronics, Semiconductor, and IT infrastructure businesses worldwide before recovery in 2021, the firm... Read more →


Based on the number of requests for face masks for frontline workers, GM is increasing its production capacity for face masks at its Warren, Michigan facility. In addition, the company has shared its manufacturing plans with GM suppliers along with the Original Equipment Suppliers Association and the Michigan Manufacturers Association... Read more →


In order to continue the development and testing of future vehicles during the COVID-19 lockdown, Ricardo has implemented a world-first in virtual vehicle certification whereby automaker clients and certification bodies can observe tests via a secure, live 3-way feed to the automation and data management systems of Ricardo’s advanced test... Read more →