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Air Pollution Can Lead to More Drug Resistant Bacteria, Study Finds

New research shows that black carbon found in air pollution can increase the resistance of bacteria that cause respiratory disease, The Guardian reports. The study concluded that S. pneumoniae to penicillin was increased by this carbon.

While this study focused on black carbon released when diesel and other biomass fuel-burning occurs, particulate air pollution is a worldwide problem, even in developing countries where transportation biofuel burning occurs in low levels. For example, particulate air pollution in Africa causes more deaths than unsafe water, malnutrition and unsanitary conditions.

This shows that air pollution is a toxic problem to life everywhere, and an ever-growing list of studies show that it is linked to major inflammatory diseases, including heart disease and stroke. Further research has identified yet another impact that air quality has on the world economy. Although the cost of premature death and disease is in the trillions of dollars across the world, air pollution also significantly impacts decision making on an unconscious level.

More importantly, though, is that the single biggest cause of air pollution in much of the U.S., China, Russia and Europe today is farming and fertilizer — specifically to the nitrogen component of fertilizer used to supposedly enrich the soil and grow bigger crops.

This calls attention to the need for regenerative agricultural processes both here and abroad. This process takes carbon dioxide from the air through land management practices, such as no-tilling and no nitrogen-based, chemical fertilizers, and transfers it to a pool of organic carbon in the soil. Other land-management practices include adding animal manure and compost to the soil, reducing water loss and conserving nutrients.
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