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Barcelona, air and health, by Jordi Sunyer

Friday, April 5th, 2013

Barcelona, air and health, by Jordi Sunyer

On Sunday March 31st, it was published in La Vanguardia an opinion piece by Jordi Sunyer, Joint Scientific Director and researcher at the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), entitled "Barcelona, air and health", in the “Temas de Debate” section about "Breathe (well) in the city." Xavier Querol, research professor at the Institute of Environmental Diagnosis and Water Research (IDAEA-CSIC), also participated in the analysis with the "pollution and disease" opinion piece.

According Sunyer "every year there are more than 3,000 scientific papers on the effects on health of the air pollution we breathe.” In total, continued the researcher, these "indicate that the effect of the fine particles accelerates the aging of the arteries, heart, lungs and brain. The lungs of a young man who has grown up in a polluted city will never have the ability they had to have grown up in clean air."

"In Catalonia, researchers at the CREAL, pioneered in this research, had discovered many years ago in days with the highest pollution the mortality increased by 2-3% and also the urgencies of patients with chronic respiratory or heart attacks," said the researcher.

"Recently, in cohort studies of considerable size, we have found that adult blood pressure, respiratory symptoms in infants and cognitive function of children are worse in areas with higher pollution. Measures such moving actively (by foot or bike) improves health in general, despite breathing polluted air," concluded the researcher.


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