Collaborating Authors

New study examines mortality costs of air pollution in US


A team of University of Illinois researchers estimated the mortality costs associated with air pollution in the U.S. by developing and applying a novel machine learning-based method to estimate the life-years lost and cost associated with air pollution exposure. Scholars from the Gies College of Business at Illinois studied the causal effects of acute fine particulate matter exposure on mortality, health care use and medical costs among older Americans through Medicare data and a unique way of measuring air pollution via changes in local wind direction. The researchers - Tatyana Deryugina, Nolan Miller, David Molitor and Julian Reif - calculated that the reduction in particulate matter experienced between 1999-2013 resulted in elderly mortality reductions worth $24 billion annually by the end of that period. Garth Heutel of Georgia State University and the National Bureau of Economic Research was a co-author of the paper. "Our goal with this paper was to quantify the costs of air pollution on mortality in a particularly vulnerable population: the elderly," said Deryugina, a professor of finance who studies the health effects and distributional impact of air pollution.

Your next colored bracelet can detect environmental pollution


What's more, "significant differences" revealed themselves in terms of exposure to the chemicals, the age of the houses the kids live in and how frequently vacuuming takes place, among other metrics. Scientists seem pretty interested in the absorption properties of the bracelets beyond this study, too. Chemical & Engineering News writes that the fashion accessories are pretty similar to human skin with how they interact with pollutants. Other experiments in this vein have revealed chemical exposure levels in roofers and may even be useful for predicting if prenatal exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons leads to asthma in children.

A cheap pollution sensor will keep you off the dirtiest roads

New Scientist

It can be bought worldwide for under $200. The sensor was tested by 100 volunteers this summer in central London. The crowdsourced results are now being used to map the air quality of more than 2000 kilometres of the city's pavements. "We want to help people take ownership of what they breathe," says Romain Lacombe, the CEO of Plume Labs, the Paris-based firm behind the device. "It will certainly be the most complete," says Jean-François Doussin at Val-de-Marne University in Paris, who has advised Plume.

Birds that live in towns and cities are having more chicks because light pollution

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Birds living in urban areas have more chicks than those in the country because light pollution is prompting them to lay eggs earlier in the year, a study has found. Researchers from California Polytechnic State University examined data collected by the public on 58,506 nests from 142 species across North America. They found that urban birds are laying eggs around three or four weeks earlier than peers in the country living away from the 24/7 light of an urban environment. Forest species in well-illuminated areas produce clutches around 16 per cent larger than those in naturally dark environments. Co-lead author Professor Clint Francis said birds that have advanced the timing of their reproduction due to light pollution are having greater success.

Countries With the Highest Pollution Deaths, Mortality Rates

U.S. News

Increasing pollution worldwide is proving deadlier than war, natural disasters or smoking, according to a new report published in the Lancet medical journal. Based largely on 2015 data from the Global Burden of Disease, the report estimates that at least 9 million premature deaths were caused during the year by diseases from toxic exposure.