THURSDAY, May 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- From 2010 to 2017, there was a decrease in annual excess mortality related to fine particulate matter (PM2.5), while ozone (O3)-related mortality remained stable in the United States, according to a study published online May 22 in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society to coincide with the American Thoracic Society 2019 International Conference, held from May 17 to 22 in Dallas.
Kevin R. Cromar, Ph.D., from New York University in New York City, and colleagues obtained daily air pollution values from the EPA Air Quality System for monitors in the United States from 2008 to 2017. In locations with valid monitor data, the health impacts were estimated at the county level.
The researchers found that from 2010 to 2017, there was a decrease in annual excess mortality in the United States from air pollution levels greater than recommended by the American Thoracic Society, from about 12,600 to 7,140 deaths, respectively. The improvement was almost entirely due to reductions in PM2.5-related mortality, which decreased about 60 percent (from 8,330 to 3,260 annual deaths). O3-related mortality remained mainly unchanged during the same period (from 4,270 to 3,880 annual deaths).
"Coordinated actions at the regional level, as well as strong actions at the federal level, will also be needed in order to make consistent gains in reducing ozone in many parts of the country," Cromar said in a statement.