A team of European scientists have published a study that finds a stronger connection between high concentrations of smog and particulate matter and heart disease. The report, published in the academic journal BMJ, was enormous in scope and carefully controlled for a number of factors, including smoking and predisposition to heart disease.
The study found that an increase of 5 micrograms per cubic meter in atmospheric concentration of smog correlated with a 13 percent jump in likelihood of having a heart attack, as well as a greater possibility of suffering from angina, the chest pain that often accompanies heart disease. The United States currently has an allowable limit of 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air pollution.
Researchers on the project studied the health of 100,000 people over an average period of 11.6 years, all of whom went into the study without heart disease. During that time, over 5,000 subjects experienced coronary events such as heart attacks.
"Our study suggests an association between long-term exposure to particulate matter and incidence of coronary events," Giulia Cesaroni, a senior researcher in the epidemiology department at Lazio Regional Health Service, said in the report, according to HealthDay.com.
The results of this research are further evidence that humans continue to create unhealthy conditions by relying on fossil fuels rather than switching to renewables that don't emit carbon and other forms of pollution. Policy makers should continue to aggressively promote the sale of environmentally friendly cars and alternative forms of electricity generation in order to cut down on emissions.