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Small Particulates – the worst form of air pollution


Based on reviews of the latest scientific literature, the Air Resources Board staff has concluded

that particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns (PM2.5) is much more toxic than previously

estimated. New research suggests that even small increases in exposure increase the

potential for earlier deaths.

Talk about heart-stopping news: Spending time in traffic may triple some people’s risk of having a heart attack an hour later. That’s

what German researchers reported last October in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), based on responses from

691 heart attack survivors about their activities in the days before they fell ill. The study seemed to support the notion that tiny

air pollution particles from tailpipes, along with stress, could help trigger a heart attack.

The key issue of PM2.5 particulates has not been addressed. It is now

beyond question that increasing levels of these particulates are associated

with increased mortality and also increased deaths from cardiovascular

diseases. The data derived from the WHO Air Quality Guidelines, as indicated

in the report, suggests that there would be 27,500 years of life lost every 15

years around incinerators for each 1μg/m3 rise in PM2.5 particulates.$FILE/TribalFactSheetforPM2.5.pdf

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