A Chinese study has found a link between air pollution and death from cardiovascular and respiratory disease, especially among older people and those living in warmer areas.
The researchers speculate that differences in educational attainment may result in environmental health inequalities and access to health care that affect mortality. In warmer cities, the authors hypothesize residents may spend more time outdoors and open windows, increasing their exposure to PM2.5.
The researchers said their study suggests a weaker association between increases in PM2.5 and mortality than studies conducted in Europe and North America. They suggest a number of possible explanations for this difference, including that in most Chinese cities there was a plateauing of mortality at the highest levels of pollution and the components of PM2.5 pollution in China may be less toxic than the components in Europe and North America. Crustal dust from arid lands and construction make up more PM2.5 pollution in China than it does in Europe and North America.
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