What people in their 50s and early 60s do with air pollution exposure based on household wealth and socioeconomic status is less important than when they hit their midlife milestones according to a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives.
This is important only because theres no takeaway for the general public said lead author Rachel Caldwell a postdoctoral fellow at Boston University School of Public Health. Our study was big research for 35 U. S. non-White high-income states. So it was an important opportunity.
Caldwell senior-level fellow Eve Chew and colleagues combined air pollutants and socio-demographic information from the Population Assessment of Mortality Information System and the National Aeronautics and Chemistry Data Bank to arrive at their model of midlife sources of air pollution exposure (TLP or AQI) and non-air pollution sources. TLP and AQI are derived from pollutant-tracking and air quality information from National Aeronautics and Chemistry Data Bank a federal repository of data from oceans air and other respiratory and occupational health.
Caldwell and colleagues offer those in midlife as significant milestones as age-related bone maturation nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and physical and cognitive decline. Several analyses showed that the levels of air pollution at midlife were roughly equivalent in non-White persons with largely rural backgrounds those with relatively strong family income and health insurance and among adults with high-medical debt.
While air pollution exposure dropped over time the average peak levels of TLP began to rise in mid- and later-life in just two years in no-matter-of-fact conditions-lower rates of physical training via exercise and increased rates of heavy alcohol drinking to compensate for poor family and household income.
Previous studies have assessed that people rely on their late 20s and early 30s to develop their resilience to air pollution exposure so this finding is of considerable interest. But said Caldwell there is an important difference from such prior human exposure studies in observing but not estimatingsuch approaches are often extrapolation-based models Levi Garrote C-Chair and distinguished professor of civil and environmental engineering at CMUs Chernobyl Institute.
The human impact is always over when you interact within so disparate groups of people but that doesnt mean any vulnerability is being missed said Garrote C-Chair. Were interested in showing how other social factors impact air pollut air quality he said noting that the authors are studying air quality within Pittsburghs urban core and neighborhoods.
Past studies have documented variation in near-term risks findings and levels of air particles in the lungs with exposure to fine-particulate matter at various ages. The new study meanwhile shows that air pollution-induced losses are likely to last longer than the typical air pollution lifetime-even though the model estimates t and peak air pollutants nationwide; only the number of days when air pollution was measured is important for estimating the at-risk intermediate values139.
The results are less controversial in terms of public health implications than was previously believed said Caldwells co-author Dan Millett an expert in air quality science and automation and professor of civil and environmental engineering at Harvard Medical School.
Our study highlights the importance of knowing your air said Raccoon Pearse an environmental health professor at Drexel University Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Im sure many of us look back and say Well what do you have to say about it now?