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News Picks : Particulate pollution from the 1970s continues to increase chance of early death

By: Physics Today
09 February 2016

New Scientist: In the 1970s, particulate pollution in England and Wales was five times worse than it is currently. A new study has found that because of those higher levels and despite how much time has passed, exposure to that pollution carries the same risk of death as exposure to current levels of pollution. Anna Hansell of Imperial College London and her colleagues tracked 368 000 people living in England and Wales between 1971 and 2001 and recorded smoke particle levels and sulfur dioxide levels in the air where they lived. They found that a person who had lived in a more highly polluted area in 1971 had a 14% higher chance of dying between 2002 and 2009 than someone who had lived in a less polluted area.

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