Newswise — A review of studies projecting the impact of climate change on air quality, including effects on morbidity and mortality, indicates that adverse health effects will likely rise with changes in pollutant creation, transport, dispersion, and deposition. However, reducing greenhouse gas emissions could go far in mitigating adverse effects. These findings appear in the November 2008 issue of the peer-reviewed journal, Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP).
Worldwide, 800,000 deaths and 7.9 million disability-adjusted life-years lost from respiratory problems, lung disease, and cancer were attributed to urban air pollution in 2000, according to the World Health Organization.
Ground-level ozone is a known pulmonary irritant that affects the respiratory mucous membranes, other lung tissues, and respiratory function. Exposure to elevated concentrations of ozone is associated with increased hospital admissions for pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, allergic rhinitis, and other respiratory diseases, and with premature mortality.