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Driving home the point

SCMP – Laisee

The Environmental Protection Department may like to take a close look at three cheery studies on pollution published recently.

One study that followed 20,000 women over a decade found that breathing in levels of polluted air greatly accelerates declines in measures of memory and attention span, The New York Times reports. Another study in Boston found that on days when the concentrations of roadside pollution rose to moderate levels, according to the federal air quality index, the risk of stroke increased by 30 per cent. US air pollution indexes are much tighter than the Hong Kong government’s air pollution index. Another report in The Journal of the American Medical Association by scientists at the University of Paris Descartes in France highlighted the link between short-term exposure to air pollution and cardiovascular disease. Pollutants in roadside emissions such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and others were found to raise a person’s immediate risk of heart attack.

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