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Fine dust-a study from Mainz, Germany : researchers levels of dirty air, dangerous as Smoking

air pollutants and lead to more premature deaths than Smoking. According to a study by Mainz-based scientists. Worldwide cause, especially with the fine dust air-loaded 8.8 million deaths per year, according to the Team of atmosphere researchers, Jos Lelieveld and the cardiologist Thomas Münzel in the "European Heart Journal". About 120 people per 100,000 population die, therefore, worldwide each year prematurely from the effects of polluted air in Europe, about 133. In Germany, even 154 per 100,000 inhabitants, it is the presented data, according to a year – more than for example in Poland, Italy or France.

In comparison, the number of Smoking decline in deaths – including passive Smoking – the world health organization (WHO) global 7.2 million annually is estimated, explain the researchers. A man could not decide, however, to smoke – the air pollution, but he could not Dodge.

researchers themselves admit statistical uncertainties

in Europe Alone, annually, almost 800,000 people will come according to the calculations, due to the effects of air pollution prematurely died – significantly more than previous studies suggest. The deaths can be attributed mainly to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

For the study, were applied to revised statistical features of the so-called time-to-event analysis. However, the methodology of such studies is altogether controversial. So, for example, linear high bills, although it is known that the reality often looks different. In addition, it is even in the case of individuals is difficult to prove, what is the cause of a medical condition or a death case, since, for example, the air pollution as a factor is difficult to other factors such as life style or social status to separate. This is also why bills are high is difficult and error-prone.

The recent discussion on the harmfulness of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides, caused by the lung doctor Dieter Köhler and about 100 of his colleagues, inflamed to such a criticism of the methods of such studies. Ultimately, it was such epidemiological studies to a statistical assessment, the Federal environment Agency is clear. "The resulting Figures are to be seen as indicators for the health status of the population," it said. It was not a clinically identifiable deaths that can be attributed to a specific air pollutant. As precise as the number of premature deaths, the number of years of life lost in the research by a risk factor.

Also, researchers at the Mainz study itself, consider that your is connected to the calculation with statistical uncertainties, and the actual effect of the air pollution could therefore lie both above and below the calculated values. It is for you but still: Bad air is one of the most significant health risks in addition to high blood pressure, Diabetes, Obesity, and Smoking, as the Team Lelieveld, Director at the Max-Planck-Institute for chemistry in Mainz, and Münzel, Director of the centre for cardiology of the University medical center of Mainz, explained. By the air pollution, the average life expectancy of Europeans will be reduced to around two years.

As the main cause of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, the researchers make the smallest of fine dust particles with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers (PM 2.5). In Germany, agriculture contributes up to 45 percent of the emissions of such particles, so Lelieveld. In the light of the study results of European PM-2,5-limit value for particulate matter with an annual average of 25 micrograms per cubic meter of air is much to high, stressed Münzel. Fine dust caused by the transport, agriculture, power plants, factories, and heaters. In the case of fine dust from the transport process in engines play in addition to the combustion of the tires have a role to abrasion and kicked-up dust.

The Mainz-based scientists had earlier own calculations, as well as the global health study "the Global Burden of Disease" in 2015 re-analyzed. Thanks to the project "Global Exposure Mortality Model" (GEMM) have a more extensive basis of data from 16 countries, including China, it said. The researchers initially determined the regional pollutants like fine dust and ozone using an atmospheric chemistry model. These values are associated with disease-specific hazard rates and the population density and the causes of death in each of the countries.

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environmentalists have long called for tougher EU limit values for fine dust, the size of PM 2.5. The world health organization recommends 10 micrograms per cubic meter of air, annual average, in the EU-25 apply. The EU environment Agency, EEA for 2014 to 66 000 premature deaths from fine particulate matter, the Federal environment Agency for 2015 to 41 000. (dpa, Tsp)

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