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Even Tiny Amounts of Pollution Can Hasten Your Death

If you live most anywhere in America, pollution is a serious problem, often exacerbated by the ozone present in the air we breathe. A new study warns this principal ingredient in smog also increases your risk of premature death.

Moreover, if a safe level of ozone exists at all, it's very far below any American or international standard. Other facts about ozone levels and your elevated risk of death:

  • Just a tiny 10 part-per-billion (ppb) increase in ozone on average over the previous two days is enough to increase your risk of death by .3 percent.
  • Even on days in which cities meet the current EPA limit for ozone (80 ppb over eight hours), the risk of premature death still rose.
  • If the 98 American counties examined for the study met the EPA's current ozone standard, there would still be a noticeable link between ozone and premature death.

Volatile organic compounds contribute greatly to ozone, and tend to be as much as five times higher in indoor air than outdoor air, likely because they are present in common household products. Although it's impossible to avoid all environmental toxins, you can limit your exposure to them by following some common-sense tips I posted last year.

Because many of you may spend as much as 90 percent of your life indoors, you may also want to consider the Way Healthier Home Air Purifier and Auto Air Filter in my Web store.

Environmental Health Perspectives January 23, 2006 Free Full Text PDF

EurekAlert February 16, 2006

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