A new study has revealed that even low levels of pollution can be extremely harmful and, in the long run, cause considerable health damage. The research, which was carried out in Canada, found that around 8000 people in the country die every year because of air pollution. It came as a surprise as Canada has generally accounted for extremely low levels of pollution in the past few decades.
The study took into account more than 7 million Canadian citizens between the years 1981 and 2016 along with the air pollution data in the same period of time. The aim was to find out whether the low air pollution levels caused less damage, but the death toll hinted at a different reality.
“These findings suggest important health benefits could be gained from continued reductions in air pollution and more stringent regulatory standards, including in countries such as Canada and the UK,” Prof Michael Brauer from the University of British Columbia, told The Guardian.
“Considering that we don’t identify a ‘safe’ level of air pollution, we should rethink our approach and focus on continued reductions year by year, rather than just setting fixed concentration standards that are only reviewed every five to 10 years. The health impacts are far too large,” he added.
The US Health Effects Institute, which funded the study, also commissioned two other researchers which looked into the air pollution in parts of Europe. Both of the studies also concluded that there are no permissible amounts of air pollution that is not harmful to the health of individuals.