Dr. Jodi Sherman wants to expand the medical profession’s understanding of patient safety far beyond the exam room and hospital bed. For Sherman, the oft-heard medical mantra of “first do no harm” should also push the health care system to do more to reduce its harmful air emissions and their impact on people’s health.
In debates over air pollution control, it’s always a tug-of-war between the cost to business and the cost to public health. Late last month, a study emerged with new data for the public health column: the cost of the nation’s nearly 16,000 annual preterm births linked to air pollution is more than a whopping $5 billion.
Each year, the U.S. spends $26.2 billion on costs associated with preterm birth — that’s birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Beyond the costs, babies born too early experience immediate and long-term problems, from developmental disabilities to asthma to hearing loss. For years, scientists have been studying possible environmental contributors, with many finding an association between preterm birth and air pollution. Earlier this week, a new study brought even more depth and clarity to this connection.
When compared with gasoline-powered cars, vehicles fueled with electricity from renewable sources could cut air pollution-related deaths by 70 percent, according to a new study, which noted that air pollution is the country’s greatest environmental health threat.
Study engages residents in collecting air samples around fracking sites, finds high levels of dangerous chemicals
A recent study of air quality around unconventional oil and gas extraction sites — more commonly referred to as fracking — found high levels of benzene, hydrogen sulfide and formaldehyde, all of which pose risks to human health. But what makes this study particularly interesting is that the air samples were collected by the very people who live near the extraction sites, and the collection times were specifically triggered by the onset of health symptoms.
Next time you pass a tree, you might want to give it a second thought. Maybe even a hug. One day, that tree might just help save your life.
Crystalline silica, hydrofluoric acid and formaldehyde. Those are just three of the dozens of air toxic chemicals that oil companies have used thousands of times in southern California in just the past year.
As Jori Lewis notes in the case [...]