Study Links Particulate Air Pollution Growing List of Health Problems

“The Harvard researchers focused on a tiny, troublesome air pollutant that comes primarily from vehicles, power plants and wildfires.”

“A new Harvard University study for the first time links hospitalizations for common blood, skin and kidney ailments to short-term exposure to fine particulate matter from fossil fuel combustion and wildfires.

The findings widen the population of older Americans considered especially vulnerable to threats from the air pollutant even when exposed to it over short periods.

Led by researchers at Harvard University's T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the study published Wednesday in the British medical journal BMJ found that short-term exposure to fine particulate matter led to higher levels of hospitalization for people with illnesses such as septicemia, or blood poisoning, kidney failure, urinary tract infections, skin and other tissue infections and electrolyte disorders often brought on by loss of fluids from vomiting or diarrhea.”

Neela Banerjee reports for InsideClimate News November 27, 2019.