Premature death from air pollution could double by 2050 and because the death of 6.6 million people each year, suggests a study published today in the journal Nature.
Jos Lelieveld, researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry (Germany), and his team have estimated the contribution of different sources of air pollution to premature mortality, combining a global model of atmospheric chemistry data on population and health statistics.
It is well known that air pollutants such as ozone and fine particles of less than 0.0025 mm, are associated with serious diseases.
The difficulty in measuring the incidence becomes a problem, on one hand, because the air quality is not monitored in certain regions and, secondly, because the toxicity of the particles varies depending on their origin.
The scientists found that this investigation emissions in urban areas , such as those from heating systems and kitchens, are having a greater impact on mortality worldwide premature.
The researchers emphasize that air quality in the United States and Europe has improved dramatically in recent decades thanks to legislation to improve the environment, a breakthrough that has had a positive impact on public health.
However, the study warns that in Europe, some regions of the United States, Russia and East Asia, the emissions produced by agriculture provide most of the particles that pollute the air.
Lelieveld and his colleagues argue that emissions from ammonia and other farm fertilizers are the second largest cause of mortality overall air pollution.
In much of the United States further particles from traffic and power generation plants they are of particular concern, according to the researchers.
In a study on mortality from air pollution published today by the journal Nature Geoscience, the researchers argue that reducing fires in the Brazilian Amazon has been averted between 400 and 1,700 premature deaths a year.
Dominick Spracklen and his group have used satellite images and field measurements to conclude that the concentration of suspended particles in the air has declined by 30% during the dry season in the region.