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Reading skills - FRENCH SMOG KILLS HUNDREDS


Klausimas #1


FRENCH SMOG KILLS HUNDREDS


    Air pollution kills hundreds each year in Paris and Lyon, according to the French results of a pan-European study of air quality and health in 15 cities. The study, which will be published later this year, is the first yto estimate the mortality in Europe caused by day-to-day air pollution.
 
     The French Public Health Society released the results last week to coincide with a public debate on air quality. They reveal that between 1987 and 1990, as many as 350 Parisians died prematurely each year from heart problems triggered by air pollution. In Lyon from 1985 to 1990, between 30 and 50 deaths from heart disease and between 5 and 8 deaths from breathing problems were blamed on smog.
 
     The study measured two pollutants, sulphur dioxide and fine particulates, which penetrate deeply into the lungs. Both come primarily from diesel-fuelled vehicles.

    The number of pollution-caused deaths is less than some researchers had predicted. "But it is now a societal debate about how many are acceptable", says William Dab, an epidemiologist at the St. Maurice Hospital in Paris, one of the researchers involved in the study. The results from the other cities studied, which include London, will be published in April in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. The findings are thought to be broadly similar to the French results.
 
     Most other studies have looked at deaths from periods of heavy smog. The French study concentrated instead on everyday pollution, and took into account a number of variables* which could affect death rates, such as temperature, barometric pressure, air pollen levels and flu epidemics.
 
    Douglas Dockery, an environmental epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, says that future studies must also estimate the health effects of individual pollutants. 

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