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Health News Results - 133

If you thought the air was cleaner at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, you weren't imagining it. But clean skies were less evident in poorer areas of the United States, a new study finds.

COVID-19 pandemic-related lockdowns reduced overall levels of nitrogen dioxide air pollution in many U.S. cities. However, levels remained higher in poorer, minority neighborhoods than in richer, whi...

Breathing in smoke from wildfires may significantly increase the spread of COVID-19, researchers say.

The warning, from a new study of links between smoke-caused air pollution and SARS-CoV-2 infections, comes as firefighters battle 80 large wildfires in the western United States. The largest — 300 miles south of Portland, Ore. — covers over 500 square miles.

For this study, rese...

FRIDAY, July 9, 2021 (HealthDay News) – The air people breathe – and how much pollution is in it – may make a difference in their outcomes when infected with COVID-19, a new study finds.

Researchers found that living in more polluted areas -- including near sewage water dischargers and in close proximity to heavy traffic -- was linked with a greater likelihood of being admitted to ...

The good news: Levels of lead in the air that Londoners breathe are far lower today than they were in the 1980s, when leaded gas was an automotive staple.

The bad news: Decades-old lead particles still pollute the city's air, a stubborn and potentially hazardous leftover of a now banned product. The findings might have implications for the health of city dwellers globally.

In the ...

Children may have an increased risk of obesity if their mothers were exposed to high levels of air pollution during pregnancy, researchers say.

In a new study, 123 Hispanic mother-infant pairs were enrolled in an ongoing trial in the Los Angeles region. Before pregnancy, about one-third of the mothers were normal weight, one-third were overweight and one-third were obese.

The resear...

Breathing in tiny particles of air pollution over a long period of time may put your sense of smell at risk, a new study suggests.

Researchers found the risk for loss of smell - a condition called anosmia - was nearly doubled among people with lengthy exposure to this type of air pollution, known as particulate matter.

"It's curious that the entire group who had lost th...

Exposure to a certain type of air pollution while pregnant may up the odds that your child will develop asthma, a new study says.

Children born to mothers exposed to high levels of ultra-fine particle air pollution during pregnancy have a significantly increased risk of asthma, researchers found.

Ultra-fine particle pollution is smaller than the width of an average human hair and ca...


TUESDAY, May 18, 2021 (HealthDay News) - Exposure to ozone air pollution may make Black women more likely to develop fibroids.

Compared to women exposed to the lowest levels of the pollutant, Black women exposed to the highest levels had a 35% increased risk for developing the non-cancerous growths in and around their uterus. The link was even stronger among women younger than...

Steaks and burgers could be killing thousands of Americans each year, but in a way most people wouldn't expect -- via air pollution.

That's the conclusion of a new study estimating that airborne particles generated by food production kill nearly 16,000 Americans each year. Pollution related to animal products -- most notably beef -- accounts for 80% of those deaths.

"What we eat aff...

Air pollution isn't hard on the hearts of adults only, suggests a new analysis that found it can raise blood pressure in kids as young as 5.

Children experienced increases in blood pressure if they had short-term exposure to air polluted with coarser particles or long-term exposure to finer airborne particles, and that also happened with long-term exposure to nitrogen dioxide, an air poll...

Exposure to secondhand smoke may up your odds for heart failure, a new study warns.

Researchers analyzed nationwide survey data from more than 11,000 nonsmokers (average age: 48) who were followed from 1988 to 1994. Nearly 1 in 5 had lab test evidence of exposure to secondhand smoke.

Nonsmokers with recent exposure were 35% more likely to develop heart failure than those with none, ...

Increasing numbers of wildfires are making poor air quality more common throughout the Western United States, according to a new study.

The findings suggest that many cities may soon have trouble meeting air quality standards, said lead author Kai Wilmot, a doctoral student in atmospheric sciences at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Wilmot's team examined Western air qualit...

Kids exposed to air pollution may be at risk for mental illness in early adulthood, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that young adults in Britain who were exposed to higher levels of traffic-related air pollutants during their childhood and teen years were prone to develop symptoms of mental illness later. Nitrogen oxides were a particular problem, the study authors reported.

When wildfires choked the air and turned the skies orange throughout the American West in recent years, they caused a variety of health problems from coughs and runny noses to life-threatening heart attacks and strokes.

But eczema and other skin issues were a result of the wildfires, too, according to researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and the University ...

More than 40% of Americans live with unhealthy air, with people of color disproportionately affected, according to the American Lung Association's annual "State of the Air" report.

Certain cities, and certain types of Americans, are far more prone to be affected.

Black Americans are 61% more likely to live in a county shrouded in unhealthy air than white people and three times more ...

Long-term exposure to polluted air could increase the risk of severe COVID-19 in people with respiratory diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), new research shows.

For the study, researchers at the University of Cincinnati examined the backgrounds and health outcomes of more than 1,100 COVID-19 patients diagnosed at UC Health between mid-March and early ...

Seasonal allergies are striking this year at the worst possible time, with the United States in the midst of a fourth wave of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

You've got an itchy nose and watery eyes. Or maybe you've got a fever and a sore throat. Or you've developed a cough and you have trouble breathing.

Is it COVID-19, or just your usual allergies?

Confusion is perfectly under...

The respiratory health risks among people who live near oil wells in Los Angeles are similar to the risks from daily exposure to secondhand smoke or living near a freeway, researchers say.

In a new study, they also found that people of color are disproportionately affected by respiratory problems such as wheezing and reduced lung function associated with living near the oil wells.

"...

Living near a Superfund hazardous waste site may shorten your life, new research suggests.

There are thousands of Superfund sites across the United States and they include manufacturing facilities, processing plants, landfills and mines where hazardous waste was dumped, left out in the open or poorly managed, posing a risk to the environment and human health.

In this study, research...

California's strict limits on diesel air pollution appear to have paid off.

Since the limits were added in 1990, diesel exhaust-related deaths have been halved, with the largest reductions in deaths seen in lower-income communities, a new study finds.

By 2014, California saw a 78% decrease in diesel emissions, while diesel emissions in the United States fell by only 51...

Even small increases of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) air pollution may cause an uptick in heart- and lung-related deaths, underscoring the need to tighten limits on this type of air pollution, Chinese researchers say.

NO2 is produced by burning fuel for vehicles, power and industrial production. World Health Organization (WHO) air quality guidelines recommend NO2 levels not exceed an annual ave...

Fewer children end up in ERs for asthma attacks if nearby coal-fired power plants are shut down, a new study finds.

"When these power plants close, we see a reduction of somewhere between 12% and 18% in emergency department visits for asthma," said senior researcher Emily Pakhtigian, an assistant professor of public policy at Pennsylvania State University. "When the plants close down, chi...

The smoke from forest fires is sending children to emergency rooms with respiratory problems at higher rates than ever before, a new study finds.

"Kids are particularly vulnerable to pollution from wildfires, so they can have asthma exacerbation and other respiratory problems," said senior researcher Tarik Benmarhnia, an associate professor of family medicine and public health at the Univ...

Fine particles in wildfire smoke pose a far greater threat to the lungs than similar particles in vehicle exhaust and other types of air pollution, researchers report.

These fine particles -- called PM2.5 -- have a diameter about 1/20th the size of a human hair and can get into the respiratory tract, enter the bloodstream and damage key organs.

PM2.5 is the main component of wildfir...

Breathing in air that has even low levels of pollution poses a threat to older adults' heart and lungs, a new study warns.

Researchers analyzed medical records of more than 63 million Medicare patients from 2000 to 2016. They found that long-term exposure to low levels of air pollution could increase the risk of pneumonia, heart attack, stroke and the irregular heart rhythm known as atria...

Worried about what damage the polluted air outside might pose to your health during your work commute? New research suggests you might want to worry more about the chemicals you are exposed to inside your car.

Benzene and formaldehyde are used in automobile manufacturing, and both are known to cause cancer at or above certain levels of exposure. Benzene also poses a risk of repro...

Two types of air pollution declined in cities around the world during initial COVID-19 lockdowns, but one type increased, a new study finds.

Researchers assessed changes in levels of nitrogen dioxide, ozone and fine particulate (PM2.5) air pollution during lockdowns in 11 cities: Beijing and Wuhan in China; Milan; Rome; Madrid; London; Paris; Berlin; New York; Los Angeles; and Delhi, Indi...

The COVID-19 shutdown in New York City gave researchers an unintended "natural experiment" of cleaner air, where they could simulate what it would be like for future health and economics if improved air quality could be sustained.

In their new study, Columbia University researchers asked, "What if air quality improvements in New York City during the spring 2020 COVID-19 shutdown were sust...

Tiny particles of air pollution were already known to raise people's risk of developing heart and lung disease, but a new study suggests they might also raise the risk of developing chronic kidney disease.

Researchers from Peking University in Beijing, China, found that the risks from this fine particulate matter was significantly stronger in urban areas, and among males, younger adults a...

One way to to influence meat consumption -- and perhaps curb climate change -- is through social media messaging, according to a new study that used Facebook Messenger.

"The results of the research are really encouraging," said study co-author Wouter Poortinga, a professor of environmental psychology at Cardiff University in Wales. "It shows that we can make changes to our diet, and if we...

Older adults exposed to air pollution might have a heightened risk of abnormal "plaque" accumulation in the brain, a new study suggests.

Plaques refer to clumps of protein called beta-amyloid that build up in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease. In the new study, researchers found that among older adults with memory and thinking problems, those exposed to higher levels of air po...

People who cook with wood instead of other fuels may be at risk of lung damage because of the pollutants and bacterial toxins they're breathing, a small study suggests.

Researchers studied the impact of cookstove pollutants on 23 people in Thanjavur, India, who use liquefied petroleum gas or wood biomass (wood, crop waste or wood brush) to cook.

They measured concentrations of pollu...

Pollutants in the air -- fine particulates that are 30 times smaller than the width of a strand of hair -- may be damaging older women's brains.

In a new study, researchers linked breathing in high levels of this polluted air to shrinkage in areas of the brain that are vulnerable to Alzheimer's disease.

"Fine-particle pollution is kind of like a cocktail. There are a lot of differen...

Air pollution poses a threat to homeless people's mental and physical health, researchers say.

They asked 138 homeless people in Salt Lake City about when and how they knew the air was polluted and how air pollution makes them feel. They also examined their health records.

More than half the people said they'd had physical reactions to air pollution (such as headaches and difficulty...

High levels of ozone air pollution could increase the risk of cardiac arrest, a new study says.

It included 187,000 people, average age 63, in the United States who suffered out-of-hospital cardiac arrest between 2013 and 2016.

Their exposure to ozone air pollution was estimated using U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data on daily ozone levels in different regions.

F...

People with long-term exposure to air pollutants may be more likely to die from COVID-19, according to a new study.

In an analysis of more than 3,000 U.S. counties, researchers found that just a small increase in long-term average exposure to fine-particle pollutants (PM2.5) upped the risk of death from COVID by more than 10%.

The study was published Nov. 4 in the journal Scienc...

Long-term exposure to air pollution is tied to an increased risk of dying from COVID-19, a new study finds.

About 15% of deaths from COVID-19 worldwide could be due to long-term exposure to air pollution, the researchers said. In Europe, the proportion was about 19%, in North America about 17% and in East Asia about 27%.

These proportions are an estimate of "the fraction of COVID-19...

Lockdowns in China and Europe to blunt the spread of COVID-19 resulted in better air quality and thousands of lives saved, a new study finds.

Researchers found that fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations dropped 30% in China and 17% in parts of Europe.

PM2.5 are tiny airborne particles that come from combustion including industrial emissions, transportation, wildfires and ch...

As the air people breathe gets dirtier, their odds for serious neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's and other dementias rises, new research shows.

The long-term study of more than 63 million older Americans can't prove cause and effect, but does show a strong association between air pollution and brain disorders. The researchers said the link was seen even a...

Metals and other air pollutants have been found in the placentas of new mothers, which means such pollutants may be able to reach the fetus, researchers report.

"Our study for the first time shows that inhaled carbon particulate matter in air pollution travels in the blood stream, and is taken up by important cells in the placenta. We hope that this information will encourage policy m...

People with asthma and other respiratory illnesses need to be aware of the threat that wildfire smoke poses to their breathing and take steps to protect themselves, an allergy expert warns.

Wildfires are raging across western U.S. states, and the smoke is spreading across much of the country.

It's important for everyone -- especially children and people with asthma and other...

America's air would become remarkably cleaner if the country accelerated its transition to electric cars that don't rely on fossil fuels, the American Lung Association said in a new report Tuesday.

A full transition to electric cars by 2040 would also result in fewer deaths, asthma attacks, heart attacks, strokes and other health problems related to air pollution, said William Barrett...

HVAC repairman Brad Sissell shrugged off the acid-yellow air surrounding him and kept working, preparing a gas pipe for a new range going into a Salem, Ore., home.

Less than a half-hour's drive away, nearly 200,000 acres were burning in one of the major Oregon wildfires that has sent a full tenth of the state's population fleeing for shelter.

But it was a workday and so Siss...

Even as wildfires rage across California, Oregon and Washington, another danger lurks in the eerie orange haze that has enveloped U.S. cities, towns and neighborhoods this week: an increased risk of catching COVID-19.

Wildfire smoke can irritate the lungs and harm the immune system, explained Dr. Cheryl Pirozzi, a pulmonologist at University of Utah Health. The particulate pollution c...

Indoor spaces often contains harmful chemicals, say researchers who found high levels of toxic flame retardants in the dust of some U.S. college classrooms.

The chemicals have been linked to thyroid disease, infertility, decreased IQ, cancer and other health problems. They were released by furniture in the facilities.

When they get into dust, the chemicals can enter your bod...

Asphalt baking in the summer sunshine is no fun for tender feet, but a new study suggests it's not doing your lungs any favors either.

As it heats up, asphalt releases chemical compounds that contribute to air pollution. And its emissions double as its temperature increases from 104 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, researchers found.

Sunlight plays a key role in these asphalt emis...

High levels of air pollution may increase young children's risk of developing asthma and persistent wheezing, researchers warn.

The findings "support emerging evidence that exposure to air pollution might influence the development of asthma," according to a report by Torben Sigsgaard, of Aarhus University in Denmark, and colleagues.

For the new study, the researchers analyze...

Microscopic bits of plastic have most likely taken up residence in all of the major filtering organs in your body, a new lab study suggests.

Researchers found evidence of plastic contamination in tissue samples taken from the lungs, liver, spleen and kidneys of donated human cadavers.

"We have detected these chemicals of plastics in every single organ that we have investigat...

Burning fossil fuels account for about 100,000 air pollution-related deaths in the United States each year -- but there are other less obvious sources of deadly air pollution, a new study warns.

"People usually think of power plants and cars, but nowadays, livestock and wood stoves are as big of a problem. It's also our farms and our homes," said Sumil Thakrar, a postdoctoral research...

The roar of jet engines may pose a hidden danger to babies: higher odds of premature birth tied to plane exhaust.

So finds a study showing that pregnant women exposed to high levels of pollution from the exhaust of jet planes are 14% more likely to deliver prematurely than women exposed to lower levels.

Researchers looked at exposure to small-particle air pollution amon...