Air pollution kills 2 million a year
More than two million deaths around the world each year are a direct result of outdoor air pollution caused by humans, according to a study published in Environmental Research Letters. The researchers found, however, that climate change has a minimal effect on exacerbating air pollution, and accounts directly for only a small proportion of those deaths.
The scientists estimated that about 470,000 people die each year because of human-caused increases in ozone. They also concluded that 2.1 million deaths annually are caused by increases in fine particulate matter, which are small particles suspended in the air that can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause cancer and other respiratory illness. Many of these deaths occur in East Asia and South Asia, because of large populations and severe air pollution in those areas.
For the study, researchers used 14 climate models to simulate the concentration of ozone, and six models to simulate the levels of fine particulate matter in the years 2000 and 1850. Then previous epidemiological studies were used to assess how the specific concentrations of air pollution related to current mortality
The research suggested that only a small number of the deaths could be directly attributed to the effect of climate change on air pollution—roughly 1,500 deaths due to ozone and 2,200 deaths due to fine particulate matter each year. Climate change affects air quality in many ways, possibly leading to local increases or decreases in air pollution. For instance, temperature and humidity can change the reaction rates which determine the formation or lifetime of a pollutant, and rainfall can determine the time that pollutants can accumulate. Higher temperatures can also increase the emissions of organic compounds from trees, which can then react in the atmosphere to form ozone and particulate matter.
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Sourced from: Science Daily, Air Pollution Responsible for More Than 2 Million Deaths Worldwide Each Year, Experts Estimate
Bicycle seat can protect from genital damage
Sitting for long hours on a bicycle seat can be incredibly uncomfortable, not to mention that It can cause chafing, pain and other damage to the genital area. But now scientists from the University of Alicante in Spain have developed a hinged, articulated bike saddle that they can say can prevent prevent these problems, as well as protecting against impotence and prostatitis. The bike saddle joins the narrow front and the wider back areas, where the front is mobile and the back is fixed, leading to a more comfortable ride.
This new saddle allows riders to rest and recover without suffering intense compression in their genital areas. Where the traditional seat puts consistent pressure on the soft tissues of the body, the new saddle separates itself from the riders’ sensitive areas. A normal bike seat can compress nerves and arteries and lead to problems associated with blood supply, but this design allows users to make lateral movements while dramatically reducing that pressure.
The designers say that the rider would not lose balance control or handling, and that the saddle still carries the versatility of a normal bike seat. They also claim that their design can provide advantages on downhill rides, as the front of the seat is mobile. That would allow the rider to lower him or herself into a more aerodynamic position.
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Sourced from: Science Daily, Novel Bicycle Saddle Prevents Chafing, Pain and Other Damage Associated With the Genital Area
Nuts can reduce risk of cancer, heart disease
Want to cut your risk of developing cancer or heart disease? You may want to start eating more nuts. According to research from the Universitat Rovira I Virgili in Spain, consuming more than three servings of nuts per week can help reduce your risk of dying of cardiovascular disease and cancer by 55 and 40 percent, respectively. Those who ate walnuts, in particular, lowered mortality risk by 45 percent, the lowest factor measured in this study.
In this study, the researchers analyzed nutritional data of more than 7,000 Spaniards, aged 55 to 90 years old. They studied the effects of a Mediterranean diet on cardiovascular disease prevention, compared to a low-fat diet… The results found that those who eat 28g of nuts a week significantly reduced their risk of death from heart disease or cancer. Overall, those on the Mediterranean diet reduced mortality risk by 39 percent compared to those on the low fat diet.
The researchers admit that the reason for these results was not entirely clear, nor could they explain why walnuts were better for you than other nuts. However, they speculated that the high content of alpha-linoleic acid and phytochemicals, as well as high fiber, calcium, magnesium and potassium content contribute to their healthy effect.
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Sourced from: Medical News Today, “Eat More Nuts” To Cut Risk Of Cancer And Heart Disease