Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Asthma and air pollution: No link?

Given my current Coase theorem teaching I was reminded to go and visit "The Commons" blog which has as it by-line "markets protecting the environment".

In their own words:

The Commons Blog is a collaborative web log dedicated to the principle of promoting environmental quality and human dignity and prosperity through markets and property rights. Put more simply, it’s about free markets protecting the environment.
The blog is named after the famous 1968 Garrett Hardin essay, The Tragedy of the Commons, where he established that common ownership of land and natural resources tended to lead to the degradation of those “common” resources. The free-market environmentalist movement exists to demonstrate that property rights have time and again proven the bulwark against such degradation. You can read more about the theory on our page “About Free Market Environmentalism.”

Today's post considers the recent EPA report "America's Children and the Environment". It is useful to take the following paragraph (the rest of the post can be read by following the link) and contrasting this with the numbers from my post yesterday.

First, a reminder from "EU Air Pollution Rules: a high death count?"

As a last minute edit metalfloss write:

Today, the World Health Organization estimates that 4.6 million people die each year from causes directly attributable to air pollution.

Then we consider the Common's post called "Enviros ignore EPA in favor of own story"

EPA's new report "America's Children and the Environment" notes that air pollution declined, but asthma prevalence continues to rise. One possible conclusion from this is that air pollution is not actually a cause of asthma. In fact, that's the most plausible conclusion. Every pollutant we measure has been dropping for decades pretty much everywhere, while asthma prevalence has been rising pretty much everywhere. This is true throughout the entire western world, not just the U.S. In fact, asthma incidence is highest in countries with the lowest levels of air pollution. Asthma is rare in developing countries with much more polluted air. Asthma incidence is simply unrelated to air pollution. Asthma attacks are probably unrelated as well. But even if air pollution can cause asthma attacks, it is a minor cause, responsible for less than 1% of all asthma attacks. EPA's own published estimates implicitly say this, but EPA never makes the percentage explicit, because that would undermine one of the agency's most potent weapons for creating unwarranted public fear.

It is certainly worth reading the whole article and other posts on this site for an interesting perspective on many of the issues discussed in this blog.

1 comment:

garauzo@email said...

The years 2006 and 2007 the Blacksmith Institute have accomplished a research about the cities more contaminated to the world and arrived to the conclusion that the Oroya city was between the 10 cities more polluted of the world and, the environment Graffiti 2008 said that is between five more pollute too to the world and the 2008 Blacksmith Institute and Green Cross Switzerland say that Oroya is between the most polluted of the world. This qualifications are benevolents; according to my researchs to many years who I am publishing, the Oroya city is the more polluted to Peru, Latin America and of the world and every day is being more polluted: lead in blood in children in the Ancient Oroya in average 53.7 ug/dl ( DIGESA 1999); pregnancies women 39.49 ig/dl ( UNES 2000), new borns children 19.06 ug/dl, puerperal 319 ug/100 grams/placenta ( Castro 2003) and workers 50 ug/dl ( Doe Run 2003).Top lead in blood accepted 10 ug/dl; present day is 0 ug/dl ( Pediatric of Academy to USA)
When the Oroya city was in hands to the CentroMin eliminated only by the upper chimney to 167.500 meters, in average by day in tons: sulfur dioxide 1000, lead 2500, arsenic 2500, cadmium 40, particulate matter 50 and so on, more 24,000 to toxis gas product to the incomplete combustion of the coal, without count it is eliminated by industrial incinerator y by the 97 smalls chimneys, it is estimated 15,000; overall 45,000 tons for day (PAMA . El Complejo Metalúrgico de la Oroya, 1996); other research say that by this chimney only eliminate overall 119¨917,440 tons too every day to a velocity to 8.7 meters by second ( Chuquimantari C. Yauli-La Oroya Minería y Ciudades Empresas Pág. 57, 1992)
Doe Run envoy every three months the concentrations of the heavy metals to the Ministry to the Energy and Mines and with the sames datums Ceverstav have demostrated the pollution was increased; for example the sulfur dioxide it have increased in near to 300 %, by increment to the production (Cederstav. La Oroya no Espera 2002
The American Association to the Environment say that the environmental quality to the Oroya it is serious deteriorated since that Doe Run was owner and the same enterprise
declared that the concentrations of the heavy metals gas it is ncreased in the air: lead 1160 %, cadmium 1990 % and arsenic 6006 % (Portugal, et al. Los Humos de Doe Run 2003)