Measures to reduce air pollution quickly result in big health benefits
New research reviewing evidence from around the world, shows that reducing air pollution can result in dramatic improvement in public health almost immediately, and the benefits can far outweigh the costs.
6 December 2019
By Michael Le Page
Reducing air pollution in homes, cities or countries can have a dramatic effect on health almost immediately, and the benefits can far outweigh the costs, according to a review of evidence from around the world.
At a World Health Organization meeting earlier this year, respiratory doctors were asked, “If you stopped air pollution, what would you expect?” So a group led by Dean Schraufnagel of the University of Illinois at Chicago have tried to answer this question.
Even the doctors were surprised by how big the benefits can be, and how quickly they kick in. “With some of this stuff, I had to do a double take,” Schraufnagel says.
For instance, when Ireland banned smoking in workplaces in 2004, the number of people dying from any cause fell by 13 per cent after just a week. There were also big falls in heart disease, strokes and a lung condition called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Non-smokers benefited the most.
These health benefits can lead to dramatic cost savings. The benefits of the 1970 Clean Air Act in the US exceeded the costs of implementing it by a factor of 32 to 1, the US Environmental Protection Agency has estimated, and will amount to $2 trillion for the year 2020.
Read full story here: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2226280-measures-to-reduce-air-pollution-quickly-result-in-big-health-benefits/?fbclid=IwAR1LrQXYZ0dO4szyy5pDMbcNy52glcy3mc3uFahaQwEAUfi2KdpRwpViCaA