The findings from this first systematic study quantifying the heath effects of Delhi's environmental interventions are published in the online issue of Atmospheric Environment. The research is among the first to use remote sensing imagery to look directly at the effects of air quality on health.
Ranking among the most polluted cities in the world, Delhi was at its peak of air pollution around the turn of the millennium, prompting the Indian Supreme Court to mandate a series of air quality regulations unprecedented in scope and implementation speed. Chief among the regulations was a mandate to convert all public vehicles — buses, taxis, and scooters — to compressed natural gas over a two-year period, substantially limit the flow of diesel trucks through Delhi during working hours, and close polluting industries in residential areas.
Foster and co-author Naresh Kumar, of the University of Iowa, administered a socioeconomic and respiratory health survey to 1,576 households (3,989 subjects), which collected time-use data, residence histories, demographic information, and direct measurements of lung function. To calculate pollution exposure at the place of residence, they also collected air pollution data in 2003 by monitoring 113 sites spread across Delhi and neighboring areas, recording particulate matter. To measure air quality levels in the previous years, the researchers analyzed satellite images provided by NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS).
Three major findings emerged from the analysis. First, the interventions were associated with a significant improvement in respiratory health. Second, the effects of ambient air varied significantly by gender and income. For example, they found that the effects are significant and negative among the lower-income households. Third, the data suggested that the differences are strongly correlated with the amount of time one spends outside. The poorest men spend an average of seven hours outside per day, while men in the richest households spent almost no time outside at all. The findings suggest that poorer men exhibited a significant negative relationship between ambient air and respiratory health, and better-off men exhibited an insignificant relationship.
"The huge thing that jumped out is the difference between the relatively poor and the relatively well-off households in terms of the kinds of adverse health effects they experienced," said Foster. "This really shows us something about the target population and the people who are being most affected by policy. It allows us to look at environmental justice on an individual level, rather than in regional groupings. ... This research opened up a whole new agenda on how we should think about environmental regulation in low income countries."
The paper is among the first to use MODIS remote sensing imagery to look directly at the effects of air quality on health, with the ground data used to help refine and test the validity of remotely sensed air quality estimates. These measures have since been used to look at the effects of voluntary environmental certification in Mexico in work published in the American Economic Review proceedings last year and by Kumar and a colleague at the National Bureau of Economic Research to examine the effects of restrictions on air quality that were imposed by the Chinese government during the Beijing Olympics.
This research was funded in part by Brown's Population Studies and Training Center and by two grants from the National Institutes of Health. Kumar is also a faculty affiliate of the Population Studies and Training Center.
Deborah Baum | EurekAlert!
Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania
The strange double life of Dab2
10.01.2017 | University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction