Mind over (Particulate) Matter? Exploring associations between air pollution and dementia

No one doubts that breathing is essential for human life. But when the air you inhale is tainted with pollutants, that life-giving breath could have unintended, negative consequences for your health later in life. A new study explores whether there might be an association between long-term exposure to air pollution and the development of dementia.

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It Makes “Cents”: Generating Renewable Electricity Benefits Health and Climate

Replacing fossil fuel electricity generation with renewable technologies has measurable benefits to human health and the climate. Researchers recently developed a simulation tool that reveals benefits are higher in certain regions of the US than others. Read more to see where deploying renewables would have the biggest impact!

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Mentally “exhausted” honey bees—petroleum exhaust makes bees learn slower and forget faster

Scent pollution from exhaust fumes could disrupt the relationship between honey bees and the flowers they feed from and pollinate. The smell of flowers invites pollinators to come and feast on their nectar. But exhaust masks those smells, making it harder for bees to learn and remember the floral scents that cue them in to flowers.

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The Price of Pollution: How Air Pollution Impacts Premature Birth and the Economy

Does man-made outdoor air pollution increase the risk of premature births? Research suggests that it does, and new analyses out of New York University have tried to estimate the burden of premature births and their economic costs that can be attributed to air pollution.

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Biking – When and where you ride could affect your health

Trading your car for a bike to get around can help reduce traffic congestion and vehicle emissions, which is why many major cities have started to install bike lanes along roads. This study looks at the potential exposure to airborne black carbon, an indicator of fossil fuel combustion, that a bicyclist could experience during their commute in a major Brazilian city.

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Dropping the base: Could climate change make rivers and lakes more acidic?

We can thank the Clean Air Act for doing a lot to improve our environment, including helping to make rivers and lakes less acidic. But in some places, climate change has the potential to reverse some of that progress. In this study, scientists set out to investigate a potentially hidden impact of climate change: making rivers and streams more acidic.

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How air pollutants hurt wheat

Air pollutants like ozone can cause damage to plants. Wheat currently provides 20% of dietary protein and caloric intake for the world’s growing population. A recent analysis led by Gina Mills and scientists from across the globe reports that increased levels of ozone will decrease global production of wheat by 85 million tons. Furthermore, the negative effects of ozone may counteract the positive effects of irrigation in wheat fields.

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