Study finds no safe level for ozone

February 16, 2006

Even at very low levels, ozone--the principal ingredient in smog--increases the risk of premature death, according to a nationwide study to be published in the April edition of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

The study, sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control, found that if a safe level for ozone exists, it is only at very low or natural levels and far below current U.S. and international regulations. A 10 part-per-billion increase in the average of the two previous days' ozone levels is associated with a 0.30 percent increase in mortality.

The current study builds on research published in November 2004 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which was the first national study of ozone and mortality. "This study investigates whether there is a threshold level below which ozone does not affect mortality. Our findings show that even if all 98 counties in our study met the current ozone standard every day, there would still be a significant link between ozone and premature mortality," said Michelle Bell, lead investigator on the study and assistant professor of environmental health at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. "This indicates that further reductions in ozone pollution would benefit public health, even in areas that meet regulatory requirements."

Researchers found that even for days that currently meet the EPA limit for an acceptable level of ozone--80 parts per billion for an eight-hour period--there was still an increased risk of death from the pollutant.

An effort is now under way by the EPA to consider whether more stringent standards for ozone are needed. The agency is mandated to set regulations for ozone under the Clean Air Act. Ozone, a gas that occurs naturally in the upper atmosphere, is created in the lower atmosphere when vehicle and industrial emissions react with sunlight. Levels typically rise when sunlight and heat are highest in the summer.

"Over 100 million people in the United States live in areas that exceed the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone. Elevated concentrations of ozone are also a growing concern for rapidly developing nations with rising levels of ozone from expanding transportation networks," said Francesca Dominici, co-author of the study and associate professor of biostatistics at Johns Hopkins.
-end-
The study is online at http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/docs/2006/8816/abstract.html

Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies http://www.yale.edu/forestry/

Information on Michell Bell: http://www.yale.edu/forestry/bios/bell.html

Yale University

Related Mortality Articles from Brightsurf:

Being in treatment with statins reduces COVID-19 mortality by 22% to 25%
A research by the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) and Pere Virgili Institut (IISPV) led by LluĂ­s Masana has found that people who are being treated with statins have a 22% to 25% lower risk of dying from COVID-19.

Mortality rate higher for US rural residents
A recent study by Syracuse University sociology professor Shannon Monnat shows that mortality rates are higher for U.S. working-age residents who live in rural areas instead of metro areas, and the gap is getting wider.

COVID-19, excess all-cause mortality in US, 18 comparison countries
COVID-19 deaths and excess all-cause mortality in the U.S. are compared with 18 countries with diverse COVID-19 responses in this study.

New analysis shows hydroxychloroquine does not lower mortality in COVID-19 patients, and is associated with increased mortality when combined with the antibiotic azithromycin
A new meta-analysis of published studies into the drug hydroxychloroquine shows that it does not lower mortality in COVID-19 patients, and using it combined with the antibiotic azithromycin is associated with a 27% increased mortality.

Hydroxychloroquine reduces in-hospital COVID-19 mortality
An Italian observational study contributes to the ongoing debate regarding the use of hydroxychloroquine in the current pandemic.

What's the best way to estimate and track COVID-19 mortality?
When used correctly, the symptomatic case fatality ratio (sCFR) and the infection fatality ratio (IFR) are better measures by which to monitor COVID-19 epidemics than the commonly reported case fatality ratio (CFR), according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Anthony Hauser of the University of Bern, Switzerland, and colleagues.

COVID-19: Bacteriophage could decrease mortality
Bacteriophage can reduce bacterial growth in the lungs, limiting fluid build-up.

COPD and smoking associated with higher COVID-19 mortality
Current smokers and people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have an increased risk of severe complications and higher mortality with COVID-19 infection, according to a new study published May 11, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Jaber Alqahtani of University College London, UK, and colleagues.

Highest mortality risks for poor and unemployed
Large dataset shows that income, work status and education have a clear influence on mortality in Germany.

Addressing causes of mortality in Zambia
Despite the fact that people in sub-Saharan Africa are now living longer than they did two decades ago, their average life expectancy remains below that of the rest of the world population.

Read More: Mortality News and Mortality Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.