A recent study published in Lancet established links between fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air pollution and antibiotic resistance. According to the study, Africa and Asia are at maximum risk of antibiotic resistance, The study presented the first global estimates of antibiotic resistance and burden of premature deaths attributable to antibiotic resistance resulting from PM2.5 pollution. The study found significant correlations between PM2.5 and antibiotic resistance globally in most antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The paper said the correlations have strengthened over time.
A 10% rise in annual PM2.5 globally could lead to a 1.1% increase in aggregate antibiotic resistance and 43,654 premature deaths, the paper stated. Saudi Arabia would have a 3% increase in antibiotic resistance if PM 2.5 increases by 10%, Niger would see a 2.9% increase, United Arab Emirates a 2.6% increase, Pakistan a 2.6% increase, Nigeria a 2.5 % increase, India a 2.5% increase, Cameroon a 2.2% increase, Bahrain a 2.2% increase and China a 2.1% increase, reported Down to Earth quoting the Lancet paper.
China and India could be the countries where changes in PM2.5 have the largest effect on premature deaths attributable to antibiotic resistance due to their large populations, DTE wrote.
Study: PM 2.5 exposure increases non-lung cancer risks in older adults
According to a new study conducted at Harvard Chronic, exposure to PM2.5 and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) may increase non-lung cancer risk in older adults. In a cohort study of millions of Medicare beneficiaries, the researchers found that exposures to PM2.5 and NO2 over a 10-year period increased the risk of developing colorectal and prostate cancers. The researchers also found that even low levels of air pollution exposure may make people particularly susceptible to developing these cancers, in addition to breast and endometrial cancers.
Scientists said they uncovered the biological plausibility of air pollution as a crucial risk factor in the development of specific cancers, bringing us one step closer to understanding the impact of air pollution on human health. According to the scientist working on the project, to ensure equitable access to clean air for all populations, we must fully define the effects of air pollution and then work towards reducing it.
Air pollution speeds progression of lung diseases, UK study finds
A new study of over 250,000 people in the UK found air pollution speeds up the progression of lung disease. The health of 266,000 adults was tracked for an average of 12 years. So far, researchers have looked at links between air pollution and single health outcomes such as asthma, emergency hospitalisation or to death. In the new study, researchers tracked people’s lung health from being illness-free, to having long-term lung conditions and to early death. The Guardian reported that by the end of the study, 13,863 people developed either asthma, lung cancer or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and 1,055 then developed multiple lung illness.
Around 14% of the people who developed one chronic lung problem then went on to to die during the study, as did 31% of people who developed multiple lung diseases.
The study covered factors such as smoking, obesity, occupation and income in the analysis. The impacts were strongest for particle pollution, even though average concentrations near the volunteers’ homes were close to the 2040 target for England and that proposed for the EU for 2030, the report said, adding that this suggests that current targets are not safe.
Study: Coal coking operation closure brought 42% immediate drop in cardiovascular emergency cases
A study conducted to assess health benefits of reduction in air pollution after closure of Shenango, Inc. coke plant in Pittsburgh, PA US found significant cardiovascular health benefits in the local population, including a 42% immediate drop (95% CI: 33%, 51%) in cardiovascular emergency department (ED) visits from the pre-closure mean. A longer-term downward trend was also observed for overall emergency visits at −0.14 (95% CI: −0.17, −0.11) visits per week rate of decrease after the closure, vs. a rise of 0.17 (95% CI: 0.14, 0.20) visits per week before. The study points out inpatient cardiovascular hospitalizations per year showed a decrease after closure (−27.97 [95% CI: −46.90, −9.04], as compared with a 5.09 [95% CI: −13.84, 24.02] average increase in cases/year over the prior three years).
The researchers said closure of a coal coking plant provides an ideal ‘natural’ experiment opportunity to rigorously evaluate the health benefits of air pollution emissions reductions. The closure brought 90% decrease in nearby SO2 levels, as well as significant reductions in coal-related fine particulate matter constituents (sulfate and arsenic).