China's Air Quality Dilemma Reconciling Economic Growth With Environmental Protection

JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association (Impact Factor: 35.29). 05/2012; 307(19):2100-2. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2012.4601
Source: PubMed
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  • No preview · Article · Dec 2012 · American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Over the past two decades there has been a large migration of China’s population from rural to urban regions. At the same time, residences in cities have changed in character from single-story or low-rise buildings to high-rise structures constructed and furnished with many synthetic materials. As a consequence, indoor exposures (to pollutants with outdoor and indoor sources) have changed significantly. Objectives: We briefly discuss the inferred impact that urbanization and modernization have had on indoor exposures and public health in China. We argue that growing adverse health costs associated with these changes are not inevitable, and we present steps that could be taken to reduce indoor exposures to harmful pollutants. Discussion: As documented by China’s Ministry of Health, there have been significant increases in morbidity and mortality among urban residents over the past 20 years. Evidence suggests that the population’s exposure to air pollutants has contributed to increases in lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, and birth defects. Whether a pollutant has an outdoor or an indoor source, most exposure to the pollutant occurs indoors. Going forward, indoor exposures can be reduced by limiting the ingress of outdoor pollutants (while providing adequate ventilation with clean air), minimizing indoor sources of pollutants, updating government policies related to indoor pollution, and addressing indoor air quality during a building’s initial design. Conclusions: Taking the suggested steps could lead to significant reductions in morbidity and mortality, greatly reducing the societal costs associated with pollutant derived ill health.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Environmental Health Perspectives
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    ABSTRACT: Studies have linked air pollution with the incidence of acute coronary artery events and cardiovascular mortality but the association with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is less clear. To examine the association of air pollution with the occurrence of OHCA. Electronic bibliographic databases (until February 2013) were searched. Search terms included common air pollutants and OHCA. Studies of patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators and OHCA not attended by paramedics were excluded. Two independent reviewers (THKT and TAW) identified potential studies. Methodological quality was assessed by the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. Of 849 studies, 8 met the selection criteria. Significant associations between particulate matter (PM) exposure (especially PM2.5) and OHCA were found in 5 studies. An increase of OHCA risk ranged from 2.4% to 7% per interquartile increase in average PM exposure on the same day and up to 4 days prior to the event. A large study found ozone increased the risk of OHCA within 3 h prior to the event. The strongest risk OR of 3.8-4.6% per 20 parts per billion ozone increase of the average level was within 2 h prior to the event. Similarly, another study found an increased risk of 18% within 2 days prior to the event. Larger studies have suggested an increased risk of OHCA with air pollution exposure from PM2.5 and ozone.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Journal of epidemiology and community health
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