Chronic exposure to various air pollutants has been linked to an increased risk of stroke, but the short-term effects have been less well studied. A review of 110 papers and more than 18 million stroke cases shows that recent exposure - in the five days prior to stroke - also increases the likelihood of stroke. The results are published in the journal Neurology.
Most so-called compostable plastics require specific conditions to degrade that are only obtainable in industrial settings, warns a study published in the journal PLoS One. Polylactic acid - a polymer obtained from natural renewable sources that is used as an alternative to petroleum-based plastics - takes more than a year to degrade in a marine environment, compared to 35 days for natural cellulose fibres, according to the analysis, which combines observations in waters off the coast of California (US) with laboratory measurements.
An international group of researchers has conducted an epidemiological study to investigate the correlation between fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air pollution and certain types of lung cancer. The authors have confirmed their findings in animal models, according to research published in Nature.
Reaction to the study analysing the relationship between different components of air pollution and the risk of dementia
Air pollution has been repeatedly linked to the risk of developing dementia. In addition to confirming this association, a study published in the journal PNAS has analysed the individual risk posed by the components present in PM2.5 fine particulate matter.
Reaction to the ruling against Spain for breaching the air quality directive in Madrid and Barcelona
The Court of Justice of the European Union has condemned Spain for failing to take the necessary measures to prevent continued non-compliance with air pollution limits in Madrid and the metropolitan area of Barcelona between 2010 and 2018. It also includes Baix Llobregat between 2010 and 2017.
Reaction: Bacteria colonise Mediterranean microfibres, including a species that causes food poisoning
A study published in PLOS ONE reveals that more than 2,600 bacteria live on average on each floating microfibre in the Mediterranean Sea, belonging to 195 bacterial species. This waste from plastic pollution, textiles and fishing activities, once colonised, smells like food and is consumed by marine animals. Among them, pathogenic Vibrio species have been found, a bacterium that can be a threat to bathing and seafood consumption.
Today the European Commission proposed revising the air and water quality directives in line with World Health Organisation recommendations. These would include more than halving the annual limit value for fine particulate matter (PM2.5).
Reaction to the study that calculates how much emissions would be reduced if people cycled like in the Netherlands
A study published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment (from Nature Research) estimates that a reduction of 686 million tonnes of carbon emissions could be achieved each year if the world followed a cycling pattern similar to that of the Netherlands (2.6 kilometres per day). This is about 20 % of the carbon emissions produced by the global passenger car fleet in 2015.
A study published in Cell Reports shows that air pollution and stress during pregnancy disrupt the brain wiring of developing male and not female mice, causing autism-like social behavior in them.
Reaction to the detection in the atmosphere of a new class of highly reactive chemical compounds: the trioxides
An international team led by researchers at the University of Copenhagen has detected a new class of extremely reactive chemical compounds in tha atmpsphere, the 'trioxides'. The challenge now is to understand the role of trioxides in climate and air quality. The result is presented in Science.