Current Air Pollution News and Events

Current Air Pollution News and Events, Air Pollution News Articles.
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The invisible smallest particles matter for the air we breathe
Researchers of the University of Helsinki have resolved for the first time, how the ultrafine particles of atmosphere effect on the climate and health. (2021-02-23)

Long-term exposure to low levels of air pollution increases risk of heart and lung disease
Analysis of records for more than 63 million Medicare enrollees from 2000 to 2016 finds long-term exposure to air pollution had a significant impact on the number of people hospitalized for cardiac and respiratory conditions. Researchers examined three components of air pollution: fine particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and ozone. Even levels lower than national standards affected heart and respiratory illnesses. (2021-02-22)

Air pollution puts children at higher risk of disease in adulthood
First of its kind study reveals evidence that early exposure to dirty air alters genes in a way that could lead to adult heart disease, among other ailments. The findings could change the way medical experts and parents think about the air children breathe and inform clinical interventions. (2021-02-22)

How outdoor pollution affects indoor air quality
Just when you thought you could head indoors to be safe from the air pollution that plagues the Salt Lake Valley, new research shows that elevated air pollution events, like horror movie villains, claw their way into indoor spaces. (2021-02-22)

Environmental policies not always bad for business, study finds
Critics claim environmental regulations hurt productivity and profits, but the reality is more nuanced, according to an analysis of environmental policies in China by a pair of Cornell economists. (2021-02-22)

New sensor paves way to low-cost sensitive methane measurements
Researchers have developed a new sensor that could allow practical and low-cost detection of low concentrations of methane gas. Measuring methane emissions and leaks is important to a variety of industries because the gas contributes to global warming and air pollution. (2021-02-22)

What impact will robots and autonomous systems have on urban ecosystems?
Unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), autonomous cars, robots that can repair urban infrastructure and wireless sensor networks used for monitoring, etc. are just some of the devices that will spring up all over our cities in a few years. They have a wide range of potential applications, such as autonomous transport, waste collection, infrastructure maintenance and repair, surveillance and precision agriculture, among others. However, we must also consider the impact these technologies will have on urban biodiversity and its ecosystems in the future. (2021-02-19)

Should Uber and Lyft be electrifying more vehicles?
Increases in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions caused by ridesourcing impact human health and the environment--what happens when companies shoulder that cost? (2021-02-19)

Shale gas development in PA increases exposure of some to air pollutants
Air pollution levels may have exceeded air quality standards during the development of some Marcellus Shale natural gas wells in Pennsylvania, potentially impacting more than 36,000 people in one year alone during the drilling boom, according to Penn State scientists. (2021-02-18)

Human impact on solar radiation levels for decades
Based on the long-term Potsdam radiation time series, ETH Professor Martin Wild and his collaborators have shown that variations in the intensity of sunlight over decades are down to ultra-fine, man-made dirt particles in the atmosphere. (2021-02-18)

Scientists develop blood test to predict environmental harms to children
Scientists at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health developed a method using a DNA biomarker to easily screen pregnant women for harmful prenatal environmental contaminants like air pollution linked to childhood illness and developmental disorders. This approach has the potential to prevent childhood developmental disorders and chronic illness through the early identification of children at risk. (2021-02-17)

This robot doesn't need any electronics
Engineers at the University of California San Diego have created a four-legged soft robot that doesn't need any electronics to work. The robot only needs a constant source of pressurized air for all its functions, including its controls and locomotion systems. The team, led by Michael T. Tolley, a professor of mechanical engineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, details its findings in the Feb. 17, 2021 issue of Science Robotics. (2021-02-17)

The 20 best places to tackle US farm nitrogen pollution
A pioneering study of U.S nitrogen use in agriculture has identified 20 places across the country where farmers, government, and citizens should target nitrogen reduction efforts. The 20 nitrogen ''hotspots of opportunity''--which appear on a striking map--represent a whopping 63% of the total surplus nitrogen balance in U.S. croplands, but only 24% of U.S. cropland area. Nitrogen inputs are so high in these areas that farmers can most likely reduce nitrogen use without hurting crop yields. (2021-02-16)

Electricity source determines benefits of electrifying China's vehicles
Researchers have concluded air quality and public health benefits of EVs -- as well as their ability to reduce carbon emissions -- in China are dependent on the type of transport electrified and the composition of the electric grid. (2021-02-16)

Method for temporal monitoring of microplastic sedimentation
Researchers in Finland have tested the sediment trap method to analyse the annual accumulation rates of microplastics in a body of water, and possible seasonal variation therein. The most important advantage of the method is that it can be used to determine the time it takes from microplastics to enter and accumulate in bodies of water. (2021-02-15)

The vertical evolution of volatile organic compounds vary between winter and summer
Scientists have discovered that pollution concentration varies between seasons. A new study, conducted in the North China Plain, determined where volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are distributed within the vertical layers of the atmosphere, and found notable changes from winter to summer. (2021-02-15)

Recommendations for regional action to combat marine plastic pollution
Millions of tonnes of plastic waste find their way into the ocean every year. A team of researchers from the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam has investigated the role of regional ocean governance in the fight against marine plastic pollution, highlighting why regional marine governance should be further strengthened as negotiations for a new global agreement continue. (2021-02-11)

Pre-COVID subway air polluted from DC to Boston, but New York region's is the worst
Commuters now have yet another reason to avoid packing themselves into subway stations. New York City's transit system exposes riders to more inhaled pollutants than any other metropolitan subway system in the Northeastern United States, a new study finds. Yet even its ''cleaner'' neighbors struggle with enough toxins to give health-conscious travelers pause. (2021-02-10)

Brazil: Air conditioning equipment days of use will double without climate action
Increasing demand for space cooling in Brazil will increase greenhouse gas emissions by 70-190% due to air conditioners, depending on how much we will mitigate climate change. A study carried out with the contribution of CMCC@Ca'Foscari explains the relationship between climate change, space cooling needs, and electricity demand in different regions of the country. (2021-02-10)

Black carbon aerosols in Beijing become "slim"
Scientists observed evident decreases of black carbon aerosol (BC) loading in the atmosphere of urban Beijing since the implementation of China's Action Plan of Prevention and Control of Air Pollution in 2013. And the BC aerosols became ''slim'', appearing with smaller core sizes and less coatings. (2021-02-10)

Links between pollution and cancer in wild animals: what can we learn?
This recent review combines the information available on cancer occurrences in aquatic and semi-aquatic animals. Cancer is one of the pollution-induced diseases that should be at the centre of attention in ecological and evolutionary research. Authors suggest physiological mechanisms that link pollution and cancer, determine which types of aquatic animals are more vulnerable to pollution-induced cancer, which types of pollution are mainly associated with cancer in aquatic ecosystems, and which types of cancer pollution causes. (2021-02-10)

Monitoring the body's fat burning by breath
Your breath holds the key to monitoring fat burning, and now a research group from Tohoku University has created a compact and low-cost device that can measure how our body metabolizes fat. (2021-02-10)

Research shows emissions of banned ozone-depleting substance are back on the decline
Global emissions of a potent substance notorious for depleting the Earth's ozone layer -- the protective barrier which absorbs the Sun's harmful UV rays -- have fallen rapidly and are now back on the decline, according to new research. (2021-02-10)

Traffic reductions due to COVID-19 boost air quality in some states but not all
Dramatic decreases in traffic caused by COVID-19 shutdowns improved air quality in car-dependent states but didn't offset additional forms of pollution in other parts of the country. (2021-02-10)

Advanced simulations reveal how air conditioning spreads COVID-19 aerosols
A restaurant outbreak in China was widely reported as strong evidence of airflow-induced transmission of COVID-19, but it lacked a detailed investigation about exactly how transmission occurred. In Physics of Fluids, researchers at the University of Minnesota report using advanced simulation methods to capture the complex flows that occur when the cold airflow from air conditioners interacts with the hot plume from a dining table and the transport of virus-loading particles within such flows. (2021-02-09)

The pandemic lockdown leads to cleaner city air across Canada, Concordia paper reveals
Researchers at Concordia University found that emission levels dropped dramatically over the course of the pandemic. They measured downtown air quality monitoring station data from eight Canadian cities and compared their concentration levels of nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide between February and August 2020 to the figures recorded over the same period in 2018 and 2019. They also used satellite imagery and urban transportation fuel consumption figures to investigate emissions traffic congestion data provided by tracking technology embedded in phones and cars worldwide. (2021-02-09)

Long-term environmental damage from transportation projects in Kenya, scientists warn
The construction of a major railway through Kenya will have long-term environmental impacts on the area, suggesting more work needs to be done to limit the damage on future infrastructure projects, a major study reveals. (2021-02-09)

The Lancet Planetary Health: Millions of lives saved annually by 2040 if countries raise their climate ambitions to meet Paris Agreement targets, modelling study suggests
New research from The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change published in a special issue of The Lancet Planetary Health journal highlights the benefits to health if countries adopt climate plans - Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) - that are consistent with the Paris Agreement aim of limiting warming to 'well below 2°C'. [1,2] (2021-02-09)

Cleaning Up the Mississippi River
Professor R. Eugene Turner reconstructed a 100-year record chronicling water quality trends in the lower Mississippi River by compiling water quality data collected from 1901 to 2019. The Mississippi River is the largest river in North America with about 30 million people living within its watershed. He tracked pH levels and concentrations of bacteria, oxygen, lead and sulphate in this new study. (2021-02-08)

Lockdown linked to drop in asthma attacks, GP data suggests
Asthma attack rates seen at GP surgeries in England fell significantly during the first Covid-19 pandemic lockdown of 2020, a study suggests. (2021-02-08)

New research reveals drivers of regionally different ozone responses to the COVID-19
Professor Ding Aijun explored global air-quality changes during COVID-19 lockdowns and regional disparities in O3 responses to emission reductions. They integrated multiple observational datasets, including global air quality monitoring network and satellite retrievals, to shed more light on the regional differences in interactions between emissions, atmospheric chemistry, and meteorological conditions. (2021-02-07)

Sensor and detoxifier in one
Ozone is a problematic air pollutant that causes serious health problems. A newly developed material not only quickly and selectively indicates the presence of ozone, but also simultaneously renders the gas harmless. As reported by Chinese researchers in Angewandte Chemie, the porous '2-in-one systems' also function reliably in very humid air. (2021-02-05)

COVID-19: Schools urgently need guidelines on improving ventilation in classrooms
There is an urgent need for guidelines on how schools can use ventilation to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the classroom, according to doctors at Imperial College London and the headteacher of a secondary school in Pinner, Middlesex. (2021-02-05)

Study reveals how air pollution may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease
A new study has found a link between high levels of air pollution at an individual's home address and an elevated risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Air pollution exposure appears to heighten the production of inflammatory cells in the bone marrow, triggering inflammation of the arteries. (2021-02-04)

Study reveals gender imbalance in scholarly submissions during pandemic
A study conducted by Michelle Bell, Mary E. Pinchot Professor of Environmental Health at the Yale School of the Environment (YSE), and postdoctoral associate Kelvin C. Fong found the rate of manuscript submission to a major peer-reviewed journal (American Journal of Public Health) were higher during the pandemic -- but also revealed a concerning imbalance in submissions by gender. (2021-02-03)

Air-guiding in solid-core optical waveguides: A solution for on-chip trace gas spectroscopy
We demonstrate an air-suspended waveguide that exhibits exceptional field delocalization and an external field confinement of 107 %, providing a stronger interaction with the surrounding air than a free-space beam. Operating at mid-infrared wavelengths, the waveguide is an ideal building block of next-generation on-chip sensors for sensitive and specific trace gas detection by tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy (TDLAS). (2021-02-02)

Air pollution poses risk to thinking skills in later life, a study says
Exposure to air pollution in childhood is linked to a decline in thinking skills in later life, a study suggests. A greater exposure to air pollution at the very start of life was associated with a detrimental effect on people's cognitive skills up to 60 years later, the research found. (2021-02-02)

Sea ice kept oxygen from reaching deep ocean during last ice age
Extensive sea ice covered the world's oceans during the last ice age, which prevented oxygen from penetrating into the deep ocean waters, complicating the relationship between oxygen and carbon. (2021-02-02)

Salt battery design overcomes bump in the road to help electric cars go the extra mile
Using salt as a key ingredient, Chinese and British researchers have designed a new type of rechargeable battery that could accelerate the shift to greener, electric transport on our roads. (2021-02-01)

NIH study shows hyaluronan is effective in treating chronic lung disease
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health and their collaborators found that inhaling unfragmented hyaluronan improves lung function in patients suffering from severe exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Hyaluronan, a sugar secreted by living tissue that acts as a scaffold for cells, is also used in cosmetics as a skin moisturizer and as a nasal spray to moisturize lung airways. Utilized as a treatment, hyaluronan decreased the number of days in the hospital. (2021-02-01)

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