INRIX has published the first in what it says will be an ongoing series of reports on road traffic demand changes from the COVID-19 virus spread. The report finds that COVID-19 has reduced traffic by 30% nationwide so far in March. Source: INRIX. Total volume first dropped nationally on 13... Read more →


Stratasys Ltd. announced a global mobilization of the company’s 3D printing resources and expertise to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, spanning its Stratasys, GrabCAD, Stratasys Direct Manufacturing and partner network with donated printing capacity across all regions. The initial focus is on providing thousands of disposable face shields for use... Read more →


COVID-19 infection at Toyota Takaoka plant

Toyota announced that a second male, full-time employee in his 20s working as a line worker at its Takaoka Plant in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee in question (Employee “B”) was a close contact of the Toyota employee who tested positive for COVID-19... Read more →


GM and Ventec Life Systems, in cooperation with StopTheSpread.org, the US’ coordinated private sector response to COVID-19, are collaborating to enable Ventec to increase production of its multi-function ventilator VOCSN to support the growing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Ventec’s VOCSN seamlessly integrates five separate devices including a Ventilator, Oxygen... Read more →


Data from the ESA’s Tropomi (TROPOspheric Monitoring) instrument on board the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite shows the variation of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions over China from December to March. A decline in NO2 corresponds to the outbreak of COVID-19 and a subsequent resurgence corresponds to the succes of measures to contain... Read more →


More auto plant shutdowns for COVID-19

Joining BMW, Ford and FCA in suspension of production in the US due to COVID-19 (earlier post) are: Toyota is temporarily suspending production at all of its automobile and components plants in North America, including Canada, Mexico and the US, through 3 April. Nissan will suspend production of its manufacturing... Read more →


Those living in polluted cities are more at risk from COVID-19, the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) warned today. Air pollution can cause hypertension, diabetes and respiratory diseases, conditions that doctors are starting to link to higher mortality rates for COVID-19. A 2003 study on victims of the coronavirus SARS... Read more →


A new open-access study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that motor vehicle crashes involving drivers with blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) below the legal limit of 0.08% accounted for 15% of alcohol-involved crash deaths in the United States. Of these deaths, 55% of fatalities were individuals other than... Read more →


Air pollution is responsible for shortening people’s lives worldwide on a scale far greater than wars and other forms of violence, parasitic and vector-born diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and smoking, according to an open-access study published in Cardiovascular Research. Professors Jos Lelieveld and Thomas Münzel, of the Max Planck... Read more →


Resource Watch has introduced a new data-driven Air Quality Dashboard featuring the latest maps and data visualizations on the state of the world’s air. Resource Watch worked with WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities to create this resource for data on air quality and emissions. From the Air Quality Dashboard:... Read more →


As the outbreak of the coronavirus now named COVID-19 began to scale in China, the organizers of AutoChina 2020 (the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition) cancelled their event which was due to be held in April. The Shanghai Formula 1 Grand Prix also cancelled. Now, although not of the scale of... Read more →


The Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS), which was scheduled to open in three days and run until 15 March, has been cancelled due to the Swiss government’s response to the coronavirus. The Swiss Federal Council—the group that constitutes the federal government of Switzerland—held an extraordinary meeting today, categorized the situation... Read more →


Virginia Tech team developing intelligent wearable analyzer for pollutants in transportation-related workplaces

With a $2.3-million award from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), an interdisciplinary team of Virginia Tech researchers led by Masoud Agah, the Virginia Microelectronics Consortium Professor in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is developing an intelligent wearable analyzer for vapor exposure, called iWAVE,... Read more →


More than half of all air-quality-related early deaths in the United States are a result of emissions originating outside of the state in which those deaths occur, MIT researchers report in a paper in the journal Nature. The study focuses on the period between 2005 and 2018 and tracks combustion... Read more →


Daily exposure to ground level ozone in cities worldwide is associated with an increased risk of death, according to the largest study of its kind, published in an open-access paper in The BMJ. The findings—based on data from more than 400 cities in 20 countries across the world—show that more... Read more →


Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, with colleagues from Duke University, report that longer commutes are associated with increased human exposure to TDCIPP (tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate)—a chemical flame retardant that is a known carcinogen and that was phased out of furniture use because it required a Proposition 65 warning label... Read more →


In addition to harmful gases such as carbon monoxide, air pollution contains tiny particles that have been linked to health problems, including cardiovascular disease and asthma. Most studies have analyzed the potential health effects of larger-sized particulate matter (PM), such as particles less than 2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5). Now,... Read more →


Researchers calculate social cost of German nuclear phase-out at $12B/year; 70% from increased mortality risk

In a working paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a team from UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) calculates that the social cost of the phase out of nuclear electricity production in Germany is approximately $12 billion per year. More than 70% of... Read more →


A new study suggests that significant early childhood exposure to traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) is associated with structural changes in the brain at the age of 12. The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center study found that children with higher levels of TRAP exposure at birth had reductions at age 12... Read more →


Researchers from the University of Liverpool, Queen Mary University, London and Trinity College Dublin have linked exposure to diesel exhaust particles (DEPs) to susceptibility to pneumococcal disease. An open-access paper on the work is published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that... Read more →


The gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine is one of the most prominent technologies car manufacturers adopted to achieve the fuel economy and carbon dioxide emission goals established in 2012 by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The market share of GDI-equipped vehicles increased from 2.3% in model year 2008 to 51%... Read more →


Jaguar Land Rover is developing a pioneering shape-shifting seat system designed to improve customer wellbeing by tackling the health risks of sitting down for too long. The ‘morphable’ seat, being trialed by Jaguar Land Rover’s Body Interiors Research division, uses a series of actuators in the seat foam to create... Read more →


Metal particles from the abrasion of brake pads (brake abrasion dust, BAD) may cause inflammation and reduce the ability of immune cells to kill bacteria, similarly to particles derived from diesel exhaust particles (DEP), according to a new study led by researchers at King’s College London. The researchers say this... Read more →


UCSF team finds significant increase in injuries for e-scooter riders

Researchers at the University of California San Francisco have found a significant increase in e-scooter injuries and hospital admissions between 2014 and 2018—particularly over the last year—with people aged 18 to 34 years becoming the most injured group. Nearly one-third of patients had a head injury, more than double the... Read more →


U of T researcher suggests decline in dementia may be due to differences in lifetime exposure to lead; role of clean fuel regs

Several studies from the US, Canada, and Europe suggest a promising downward trend in the incidence and prevalence of dementia. However, important risk factors for dementia—such as mid-life obesity and mid-life diabetes—have been increasing rapidly, so the decline in dementia incidence is perplexing to researchers. A new hypothesis by University... Read more →


Study links closing of local automotive assembly plants in US to increase in deaths from opioid overdoses

Closing of local automotive assembly plants may lead to increases in deaths from opioid overdose, according to a study led by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts General Hospital. The findings highlight fading economic opportunity as a driving factor in the... Read more →


Study suggests global impact of obesity may be extra ~700MT/y CO2eq: about 1.6% of worldwide GHG emissions

A new analysis led by a team from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, estimates that on a global scale, obesity contributes to extra GHG emissions of ~49 megatons per year of CO2 equivalent (CO2eq) from oxidative metabolism due to greater metabolic demands; ~361 megatons per year of CO2eq from food... Read more →


Study finds rapid health benefits following air pollution reduction

Reductions in air pollution yielded fast and significant impacts on health-outcomes, as well as decreases in all-cause morbidity, according to new open-access research published in Annals of the American Thoracic Society. The study by the Environmental Committee of the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) reviewed interventions that have reduced... Read more →


Harvard study links short-term exposure to PM2.5 with risks of common but rarely studied causes of hospital admissions; substantial economic costs

Hospitalizations for several common diseases—including septicemia (serious bloodstream infection), fluid and electrolyte disorders, renal failure, urinary tract infections, and skin and tissue infections—have been linked for the first time with short-term exposure to fine particulate air pollution (PM2.5), according to a comprehensive new study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School... Read more →


Concentrations of the harmful NO2 pollutant across 30 major European cities could be reduced by up to 40% with the correct traffic policy measures, according to EU Joint Research Center (JRC) scientists. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution is the single largest environmental health risk in Europe.... Read more →


PM2.5 pollution linked to higher glaucoma risk

Living in a more polluted area is associated with a greater likelihood of having glaucoma, a debilitating eye condition that can cause blindness, according to a new UCL-led study in the UK. People in neighborhoods with higher amounts of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution were at least 6% more likely... Read more →


Study links exposure to PM2.5 exposure to brain atrophy, memory decline in older women

Women in their 70s and 80s who were exposed to higher levels of air pollution experienced greater declines in memory and more Alzheimer’s-like brain atrophy than their counterparts who breathed cleaner air, according to a new study by researchers at USC, Wake Forest School of Medicine, and their colleagues at... Read more →


Canadian study links exposure to ultrafine particle air pollution to brain cancer

Greater exposure to ambient ultrafine particles (UFPs, <0.1 µm) produced by fuel burning could increase people’s chances of getting brain cancer according to a new study by a team of researchers in Canada in the journal Epidemiology. This is the first study to suggest a relationship with the incidence of... Read more →


MIT team finds aviation emissions’ impacts on air quality larger than on climate

Researchers at MIT have determined that growth in aviation causes twice as much damage to air quality as to the climate. In an open-access paper in the journal Environmental Research Letters, they examine how this damage can be mitigated, and provide consistent comparative assessments of aviation emissions trade-offs, considering both... Read more →


Volkswagen has begun to fit all its models with an activated carbon filter. The technology has been available for a long time as part of the Air Care Climatronic option, which filters out pollen, bacteria, fungal spores and particulates before they make their way through the ventilation system into the... Read more →


Study finds long-term exposure to black carbon from traffic exhaust at residential address increases the risk of stroke

Long-term residential exposure to locally emitted black carbon (BC) from traffic exhaust increases the risk of stroke even in low-pollution environments, according to a study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and other universities in Sweden. The open-access study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, suggests that it is mainly... Read more →


Prenatal air pollution exposure linked to infants’ decreased heart rate response to stress

A mother’s exposure to particulate air pollution during pregnancy is associated with reduced cardiac response to stress in six-month-old infants, according to an open-access study by researchers at Mount Sinai research published in Environmental Health Perspectives. This study is the first to find that particulate air pollution exposure in utero... Read more →


The European Environment Agency’s (EEA’s) “Air quality in Europe — 2019 report” shows that almost all Europeans living in cities are still exposed to air pollution levels that exceed the health-based air quality guidelines (AQGs) set by the World Health Organization (WHO). The new EEA analysis is based on the... Read more →


In a new study of PM2.5-related damages, researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and Stanford have found that, US-economy-wide, gross external damage (GED) due to premature mortality has decreased by more than 20% from 2008 to 2014. The paper is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Second,... Read more →


Study finds NSAIDs may lessen air pollution effects on lung function

A new study is the first to report evidence that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin may lessen the adverse effects of air pollution exposure on lung function. The team of researchers from the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, Harvard Chan School of Public Health, Boston University School... Read more →


US cities could see a decline in mortality rates and an improved economy through midcentury if federal and local governments maintain stringent air pollution policies and diminish concentrations of diesel freight truck exhaust, according to a new study published in Environment International by researchers at Cornell University, the University of... Read more →


Survey of Italian truck drivers finds many suffer from sleep-related breathing disorders

A survey of 905 Italian truck drivers has shown that approximately half suffer from at least one sleep-related breathing problem that potentially can cause drivers to fall asleep at the wheel. In a presentation at the European Respiratory Society International Congress on Monday, Luca Roberti, President of Apnoici Italiani (the... Read more →


London study finds taxi drivers face highest levels of black carbon compared to other professional drivers

Professional drivers working in congested cities are exposed to black carbon levels that are on average a third higher than would be experienced at a busy roadside, according to research presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress. The research also found that taxi drivers experience the highest exposures to... Read more →


Hyundai Motor Group has developed the new Vest EXoskeleton (VEX), a wearable robot created to assist industrial workers who spend long hours working in overhead environments. The VEX enhances productivity and reduces fatigue of industrial workers by imitating the movement of human joints to boost load support and mobility. The... Read more →


More than two people are killed every day on US roads by drivers running through red lights, according to data analysis performed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The most recent crash data available shows 939 people were killed in red light running crashes in 2017—a 10-year high and... Read more →


Emory, ICCT: ship emissions caused ~3,700 premature deaths in Pearl River Delta region in 2015

In 2015, ship emissions increased summer PM2.5 concentrations and O3 mixing ratios by 1.4 μg/m3 and 1.9 ppb, respectively, within the Pearl River Delta (PRD), China, according to a new study by a team from Emory University and the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). This resulted in an estimated... Read more →


Study finds association of pollution with increased risk of psychiatric disorders

A new study led by University of Chicago researchers finds an association between exposure to environmental pollution and an increase in the prevalence of neuropsychiatric disorders. Based on analysis of large population data sets from both the United States (151 million unique individuals) and Denmark (1.4 million unique individuals), the... Read more →


Polish study links pollution and winter with rise in heart attack treatment

Heavily polluted areas have a higher rate of angioplasty procedures to treat blocked arteries than areas with clean air, according to research to be presented at ESC Congress 2019 together with the World Congress of Cardiology. Procedures are even more common in winter, the most polluted time of year. Epidemiological... Read more →


Major international study links short-term exposure to PM pollution to risk of premature death

A major new international study shows independent associations between short-term exposure to PM10 and PM2.5 and daily all-cause, cardiovascular, and respiratory mortality in more than 600 cities across the globe. These data reinforce the evidence of a link between mortality and PM concentration established in regional and local studies, according... Read more →


Study suggests long-term exposure to NO2 and CO pollution increase risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

Long-term exposure to pollutants from vehicle exhaust is linked to a heightened risk of the common eye condition age-related macular degeneration, or AMD for short, suggests research published online in the Journal of Investigative Medicine. Exposure to the highest levels of air pollutants was associated with an almost doubling in... Read more →