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Posts Tagged ‘National Academy of Sciences’

Smog exposure causes premature death

Posted by feww on April 22, 2008

Scientific report links smog exposure to premature death

(LiveNews.com.au)
Short-term exposure to smog, or ozone, is clearly linked to premature deaths that should be taken into account when measuring the health benefits of reducing air pollution, a US report shows.

The findings contradict arguments made by some White House officials that the connection between smog and premature death has not been shown sufficiently, and that the number of saved lives should not be calculated in determining clean air benefits.

The National Academy of Sciences report released today by a panel of the Academy’s National Research Council says government agencies “should give little or no weight” to such arguments.

“The committee has concluded from its review of health-based evidence that short-term exposure to ambient ozone is likely to contribute to premature deaths,” the 13-member panel said.

It added that “studies have yielded strong evidence that short-term exposure to ozone can exacerbate lung conditions, causing illness and hospitalization and can potentially lead to death.”

The panel examined short-term exposure – up to 24 hours – to high levels of ozone, but said more studies also were needed on long-term chronic exposure where the risk of premature death “may be larger than those observed in acute effects studies alone.”

The Academy’s report “could have important consequences” on such future disputes, said lawyer Vicky Patton of the advocacy group Environmental Defense Fund.

She said the OMB in a number of air pollution regulations has sought to minimize the relationship of pollution and premature deaths, resulting in a lower calculation of health benefits from pollution reductions.

“This has been used by industry to try to attack health standards by minimising the societal benefits,” said Patton. (Source)

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