Let us consider Nature's remaining proposals to reclaim and reset the Biosphere and aerosol pollution. The authors challenged us to read their proposals and then discuss them. In the spirit of that challenge, I have let them do the talking (to be found in the quotes). But I do want to share a few final thoughts.
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) cited a new toxicology study that linked PM2.5 air pollution with the growth of lung cells having “pre-existing oncogenic variants” that could promote lung cancer in mice. Because “the light is better underneath the lamppost,” there is an epidemiologic predilection for ascribing blame to the pollutants for which we have the most data, like PM2.5
Here is the narrative: if we reduce manmade greenhouse gases and their companion aerosols, like PM2.5, we will reduce global warming and improve our health. Unfortunately, the climate is a bit more complex. Our best plans come with unintended consequences. A new study shows that reducing those manmade aerosols also increases the “climate forcing” bringing about global warming.
It's tough not to run across an article linking – by association – air pollution with adverse health effects. Over time scientists have focused more of their research on one component of our air: PM2.5. A new study has identified some of the smallest particles within PM2.5 in our central nervous system.
To discuss the Draft CASAC Report on EPA’s Draft Supplement to the 2019 Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for PM and the Draft CASAC Report on EPA’s Draft PM Policy Assessment (PA).
In an essay in the London Review of Books, David Wallace-Wells contrasted the 5.5 million annual global deaths from COVID [1] with the 7 million deaths attributed to air pollution (AP) projected by the World Health Organization [2]; he bemoaned the lack of attention being given to the latter. [1] He noted that other AP mortality estimates run as high as 8.7 million and 10 million if indoor air pollution were included. This is getting downright scary.
The World Health Organization (WHO) adopted a dose-response function for PM2.5 that lumps outdoor ambient air quality, second-hand (passive) smoking, and indoor household air pollution. It has been used in 80 published studies of the “Global Burden of Health” (GBD). Here I take a closer look and incorporate some additional risk estimates.
The New York Times recently featured a new study by Christopher Tessum and colleagues on disproportionate exposures to people of color from fine particle (PM2.5) emissions, raising questions about environmental injustice.
Dear Director-Designee Regan: What an opportunity you now have to move the EPA's goals and objectives into the 21st century!
As an avid reader of the New York Times, it pains me greatly to read about a familiar subject that has so many errors and misconceptions. Especially when COVID-19's impact on society is being discussed.
Without a doubt, our world is now quieter since sheltering began, and we can imagine that the air smells sweeter. These are good things but purchased at the terrible costs of COVID-19 suffering and death and devastation of the global economy. The environmental scientist in me thought about lessons to be learned from our present situation.
"Although the epidemiology of COVID-19 is evolving, we have determined that there is a large overlap between causes of deaths of COVID-19 patients and the diseases that are affected by long-term exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5).” It is a great leap from overlap to claiming PM2.5 results in "excess" mortality from COVID-19. But what the heck, why let the fear generated by COVID-19 go to waste?