Increasing global pollution levels increase the likelihood of people dying early, according to a new study
The New England Journal of Medicine examines dust levels and daily mortality in 652 cities in 24 countries over the course of three decades. It is considered to be the largest international study on the short-term effects of air pollution on mortality.
ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS ARE THE ESSENTIAL ADMINISTRATION FOR WEAKNESS OF PROTECTED SPECIES The NEJM study focuses on how even small amounts of dust particles can be adversely affected.
According to the study, the two countries that recorded the highest increase in mortality after air pollution levels increased were Australia and Brazil. The latter has recently witnessed the burning of Amazon rainforest at a much faster rate than normal.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro wants to open the Amazon to mining and other industries, which would make it vulnerable to farmers and entrepreneurs who want to "cut and burn" the forest to clear the land.
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Mortality increases by .68 percent for fine particulate matter in the study, and researchers say even this increase is significant when exploring large cities.
"If we look at a population of one million people in a city, well that 1 percent is significant and that can affect many people," Eric Lavigne, co-author of the study, told The Verge. Lavigne is a professor at the University of Ottawa and a senior epidemiologist at the Canadian Public Health Agency.