• Posted Oct 18, 2001

According to an article in the Columbus (OH) Dispatch, " More people are being killed by pollution from cars, trucks and other sources than by traffic crashes...

Researchers estimate in a report that says cleaning up would prolong the lives of thousands of people.

"The researchers, in a study in the journal Science, said that cutting greenhouse gases in just four major cities -- Sao Paulo, Brazil; Mexico City; Santiago, Chile and New York City -- could save 64,000 lives during the next 20 years. Greenhouse gases, principally carbon dioxide or ozone, are pollutants that tend to trap the sun's heat in the atmosphere or to affect solar radiation.

"The gases have been blamed for causing global warming, but the study's lead author, Devra Lee Davis, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz School in Pittsburgh, said the effects are not just long-term. 'The message in our study is that there are real and immediate health benefits' in reducing greenhouse gases, she said.

"She said that burning of fossils fuels, such as gasoline or coal, can create air pollutants such as ozone, airborne particles small enough to be inhaled, carbon dioxide and other gases. The pollutants, said Davis, can cause people to die prematurely from asthma, breathing disorders and heart disease. 'It is our best estimate that more people are being killed by air pollution . . . than from traffic crashes,' Davis said..."

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