Posted by Floralyn Teodoro on Jan 14th 2018

Air Pollution: Raising the Risk of Premature Death in Seniors

A recent study showed that short-term exposures to air pollution even at levels below the current national safety standards are putting senior citizens at higher risk of premature death.

Air Pollution Raising the Risk of Premature Death in Seniors

According to the recent study issued by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health late last year, short-term exposure of U.S. senior citizens to low levels of air pollution are putting them at higher risk of early or premature death. The study also found that hundreds of elderly Americans die prematurely every year because of the adverse effects of polluted air.

The Harvard study

In a Harvard news release, senior study author Francesca Dominici said that “mortality rate increases almost linearly as air pollution increases.” Wherever air pollution is present, –whatever its level, no matter how low it may be– human health is put in danger.

During the course of the study, even a tiny increase either in ozone levels or particulate pollution led to a rough increase of 0.5 to 1 % in the daily death rate in the study’s subjects. During the study period, there has been an account of 7, 100 premature deaths.

Other findings from the study published on December 26, 2017 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) are:

  • Women were found to have a greater chance of dying prematurely than men when exposed to air pollution and ozone exposure – 25% greater to be exact.
  • The mortality risk was also found to be 25% higher in the elderly who belong to the low-income, female, or nonwhite subgroups. Researchers speculate that poverty or poor access to healthcare can be blamed for such disparities.
  • Air pollution at levels below the national safety standards was also found to contribute to the increase in the seniors’ mortality rate covered in the study.

According to Qian Di, lead author of another related study, said that “no matter where you live –in cities, in the suburbs, or in rural areas– as long as you breathe air pollution, you are at risk.”

What you must do

Given the fact that we are surrounded by dirty air, we must do something –even little changes– to reduce air pollution in our environment. Here are tips from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on what actions you can take to reduce air pollution:

  • If possible, carpool, ride your bike, walk, or use public transport when going to school or work.
  • Use environmentally-safe home cleaning products, paints, and home or office equipment.
  • When refueling gasoline-powered vehicle or equipment, make sure to observe and follow the instructions properly to prevent spills.
  • Make sure that the engines of your vehicles (boat, car, etc.) are always properly tuned.

Although you can’t do much about the massive scale of outdoor air pollution, you can do something with the air you breathe at home. To help protect your whole household from indoor air pollution and ensure the purity and safety of the air you breathe, you must consider investing in an air filtration system. Your family’s health is worth the investment.

For quality and efficient air filters and purifiers, click here or call 800-444-3563 for inquiries today.