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Boston College Reports Air Pollution Causes Health Issues in Children

Data showing the affects of poor air quality on chilren in Boston, massachusetts

Researchers at the Boston College's Global Observatory on Planetary Health found that an estimated 2,780 deaths per year are due to air pollution. The air pollution also contributes to diseases and loss of IQ points in children.

Research was done on the whole state of Massachusetts and found that areas that are economically disadvantaged had the highest rates of deaths, illnesses, and loss of IQ points due to poor air quality. On average 2 IQ points are lost per child due to the exposure to fine particulate matter in the air. The team also found that 15,386 individuals had cases of paediatric asthma due to the air pollution. A majority of the air pollution in Massachusetts is due to burning fossil fuels. This is also the largest source of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions. Fine particulate matter is linked to many diseases such as cardiovascular disease, strokes, lung cancer, and even diabetes in adults and premature birth, low birthweight, stillbirths, asthma, and impaired lung development in children.

It was also noted that all these effects are results from pollution levels below the EPA standards, which is 12 micrograms per cubic meter. The team of researchers at Boston College are aiming to increase awareness about the air pollution issue in the US, as the current Environmental Protection Agency limits are not enough to prevent harmful health issues for both healthy and sick individuals. The report included a list of recommended solution to the poor air quality. These included, but were not limited to converting to electrical vehicles, using solar panels, lowering the EPA standards, and increase air quality monitoring.

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