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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Navigating the Future of Insects in an Illuminated World

Humans bring light to even the darkest of places, but how does this affect the creatures we share the night with? In our quest to illuminate our world, we are altering the fate of insects for generations to come by contributing to their decline and pressuring them to adapt to an environment that has artificial light at night.

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Global monitoring shows regulated atmospheric pollutants are not decreasing

PFAS and VMS are man-made chemicals that have been used for decades in products that we all use on a daily basis, including personal care products, cookware, and food packing. However, there is growing evidence that these chemicals, which are widespread throughout the globe, can have negative impacts on living organisms and human health. A recent study compared concentrations of these chemicals in the atmosphere at sites across the world from 2009 to 2015. Their findings suggest that there has been a significant increase in PFAS in the atmosphere over this time period, while certain types of VMS chemicals also increased. Future monitoring efforts across the globe are necessary to determine the changes in these chemicals in the air we breathe.

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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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A Hazy Outlook over the North China Plain

Beijing, the cultural and political capital of China, is home to a massive population of almost 25 million people has long been known for its air pollution. A team of scientists at Peking University in Beijing looked at the chemistry of the city’s haze and found something surprising: the inorganic mass fraction, normally dependent on only human activities, increased with increasing relative humidity. That’s right: how bad anthropogenic emissions actually are depends on the weather. Exploring this trend will help us to understand how haze forms, which could help Beijing and other major cities to manage their air pollution problems more effectively.

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