Year-End Report on 2016 Air Pollution and Health Research


UPHE Releases Year-End Report on 2016 Air Pollution and Health Research

Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment (UPHE) released the attached year-end report summarizing air pollution and health research for 2016:

Full report here:  2016 UPHE Air Pollution Research Report

News coverage:  Fox13 News

Research on air pollution’s effect on public health was strengthened and expanded significantly in 2016. Some of the most remarkable research centered on how air pollution contributes to pregnancy complications and impaired fetal development… A common denominator for air pollution’s connection to multiple diseases is the triggering of inflammation, affecting arteries and blood supply throughout the body. Intrauterine inflammation is known to be a pathway for multiple types of pregnancy complications. Air pollution at the level of the Wasatch Front’s annual average increases the risk of intrauterine inflammation by 240%.10  Much higher pollution levels, typical of our winter inversions will undoubtedly increase that risk…

These new research findings should compel Utah lawmakers to address these health hazards with meaningful legislation, going far beyond those of previous years.   UPHE calls on the Utah Legislature and the Governor’s office to make 2017 the year for cleaning up our air.

Key 2016 research include studies that showed:

  • Toxic, nano-sized particles called “magnetites” found in air pollution end up in our brains. People with higher concentrations of the metallic nanoparticles are known to be at higher risk for Alzheimer’s, and the kind of brain damage these “magnetites” can cause are consistent with the disease
  • How the Great London Smog event of 1952 was still impacting people’s health 60 years later.  Those who were infants or babies in-utero when they were exposed to the event (which only lasted 5 days), showed higher rates of respiratory disease measured several decades later
  • The 9/11 dust cloud from the collapse of the Twin Towers in 2001 was associated with significantly higher rates of premature birth and low birth weight. Even short-term exposure is associated with higher rates of pregnancy complications.  Episodes lasting only one to two days can be enough to trigger premature births


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