Summary of Chemists Can Help to Solve the Air-Pollution Health Crisis

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Chemists Can Help to Solve the Air-Pollution Health Crisis summary
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Air pollution is the single largest environmental health risk human beings face. Yet scientists are still unclear as to how exactly human-made pollutants make people sick. As long as these questions remain unanswered, effective emissions-control policies will be elusive. In a commentary published in the magazine Nature, two chemists from Germany’s Max Planck Institute call for a multidisciplinary and internationally well-coordinated effort to tackle the air-pollution health crisis. getAbstract recommends their article to policy makers and researchers.  

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why air pollution and its impact on human health are still poorly understood;
  • Why air pollution research requires a multidisciplinary approach; and
  • How scientists and policy makers should go about setting air-quality standards.
 

About the Authors

Jos Lelieveld is director of atmospheric chemistry and Ulrich Pöschl is director of multiphase chemistry at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany.

 

Summary

Poor air quality harms public health – but it is unclear exactly how.

Air pollution is among the top five health risks in the world. Researchers have correlated human exposure to polluted air with a range of cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses, resulting in an estimated 4.5 million deaths per year. Yet while public health specialists have established a causal relationship between poor air quality and disease, it remains difficult to pinpoint the individual pollutants that make people sick.


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