Current Air Quality News and Events

Current Air Quality News and Events, Air Quality News Articles.
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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)

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)

Unexpected decrease in ammonia emissions due to COVID-19 lockdowns
Scientists introduced machine learning algorithms to models that separated meteorological influences and confirmed that the actual atmospheric ammonia concentration dropped to a new minimum during the 2020 Spring Festival at both urban and rural sites. (2021-02-18)

Giving oxygen to the question of air quality
Volatile alkanes can rapidly acquire oxygen atoms in a free radical chain reaction, a process significant for fuel combustion and air pollution. (2021-02-18)

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)

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)

Study shows airborne particulate matter is also contaminated with tobacco smoke-driven particulates
After 30 years, Dr Noel Aquilina, alongside world renowned tobacco smoke-related researchers, Emeritus Professor Neal L. Benowitz and Dr Peyton Jacob III from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), USA and atmospheric chemist and Fellow of the Royal Society, Professor Roy M. Harrison, from the University of Birmingham, UK, ended the wait for the elusive marker! (2021-02-12)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

A fine-grained view of dust storms
A new analysis of satellite data gives a detailed view of how extreme dust events have changed over time. (2021-02-02)

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)

Study links intensive BP lowering to reduced CV risk in patients exposed to air pollution
In the study 'The Benefits of Intensive Versus Standard Blood Pressure Treatment According to Fine Particulate Matter Air Pollution Exposure' published this week in the journal Hypertension, researchers at University Hospitals (UH) and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine found intensive BP lowering is effective in reducing cardiovascular risk in patients exposed to high levels of air pollution. (2021-02-01)

Increasing snow depth prevented wintertime soils from cooling during the warming hiatus
Scientists investigated snow cover along with other direct and indirect soil temperature influences in northeastern China. The research further showed that the increasing snow depth in northeastern China may be the main reason for the continued warming trend in soil temperatures. In addition to the thermal insulation effect of snow cover, the ability for soil to record human changes and environmental influences, or ''soil memory'' is also important, especially at greater depths. (2021-01-31)

Scientists look to soils to learn how forests affect air quality, climate change
Two studies shed light on the complex relationships between tree types, forest soil nutrients and microbes, and their effect of affect air quality and climate change. (2021-01-29)

Leading cardiovascular organizations call for urgent action to reduce air pollution
Air pollution is a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and a major contributor to the global burden of disease. Long-term exposure to air pollution has also been linked to an increased risk of death from COVID-19. This dangerous 'triple threat' of air pollution, COVID-19 and cardiovascular disease should be taken seriously, warn major health authorities. (2021-01-28)

More than just CO2: It's time to tackle short-lived climate-forcing pollutants
Climate change mitigation is about more than just CO2. So-called 'short-lived climate-forcing pollutants' such as soot, methane, and tropospheric ozone all have harmful effects. Climate policy should be guided by a clearer understanding of their differentiated impacts. (2021-01-27)

Air purifiers may do more harm than good in confined spaces with airborne viruses
The positions of air inlets and outlets in confined spaces, such as elevators, greatly affect airborne virus transmission. In Physics of Fluids, researchers show air purifiers may actually increase the spread. They use ultraviolet radiation to kill viruses and other microbes, but they also circulate air, sucking it in and exhausting cleaned air. This adds to overall circulation. (2021-01-26)

Study finds water quality improvements in Maryland's Choptank River
The Chesapeake Bay has a long history of nutrient pollution resulting in degraded water quality. However, scientists from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science are reporting some improvements in the Choptank River on Maryland's Eastern Shore, a tributary of Chesapeake Bay that is often used as a model for progress in restoring the estuary. (2021-01-26)

Satellite data reveals bonds between emissions, pollution and economy
Burning fossil fuels has long powered world economies while contributing to air pollution and the buildup of greenhouse gases. A new analysis of nearly two decades of satellite data shows that economic development, fossil-fuel combustion and air quality are closely linked on the continental and national scales, but can be decoupled at the national level, according to Penn State scientists. (2021-01-26)

Reactive halogen from domestic coal burning aggravates winter air pollution
During the winter in the North China Plain, scientists found high concentrations of reactive halogen gases (BrCl, HOBr, Cl2) in the atmosphere which was associated with widespread coal burning in rural areas. Halogen atoms released from BrCl and Cl2 under sunlight significantly increased the oxidative capacity, and has the potential to boost the productions of secondary aerosols - the major components of winter haze in northern China - and the toxic form of mercury. (2021-01-25)

Air pollution linked to higher risk of sight loss from AMD
Air pollution is linked to a heightened risk of progressive and irreversible sight loss, known as age related macular degeneration (AMD), reveals a large long term study led by UCL researchers, published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology. (2021-01-25)

The downward trend: Nature's decline risks our quality of life
Scientists conducted a sweeping review of nature's contributions to humans in order to present a clear breakdown of global trends since 1970. Not surprisingly, the results are grim (2021-01-21)

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