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High Pollution Levels May Make People More Susceptible To Stroke

Studies have shown associations between air pollution and daily death rates for respiratory and heart disease. "This study provides new evidence that higher levels of ambient pollutants increase the risk of hospital admissions for stroke, especially on warm days,"

Many experts suspect that air pollution may affect blood volume and resistance of the blood vessels and heart structures, known collectively as the hemodynamic system. High temperatures may also affect blood viscosity. "In hot weather, it is recommended that people avoid pollution, stay inside and use an air conditioner if needed. As stroke is associated with air pollution, lowering the level of exposure could considerably reduce the associated health burden.

From lawn mowers and weed trimmers, to personal watercraft and speedboats, gas-powered engines will soon contribute to healthier and cleaner air for Americans. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set strict new standards for gas-powered lawn equipment and marine engines, enhancing public health by substantially reducing the amount of gas fumes, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and smog-forming pollutants emitted from a wide range of engines. The regulations will take effect in 2010 and 2011.

"EPA's new small engine standards will allow Americans to cut air pollution as well as grass," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "These standards help fight smog in our neighborhoods and waterways as we continue to improve the environmental landscape."

When fully implemented, the rule will yield annual emission reductions of 600,000 tons of hydrocarbons, 130,000 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx), 5,500 tons of direct particulate matter, and 1.5 million tons of carbon monoxide (CO). EPA expects the new standards to save approximately 190 million gallons of gasoline each year. The rule kicks into gear in 2011 for lawn and garden equipment of 25 horsepower or less. For a full range of gas-powered personal watercraft and inboard and outboard engines, the rule powers up in 2010.

Each year, Americans spend more than 3 billion hours using lawn and garden equipment and more than 500 million hours in recreational boating. As a result, the total estimated public health benefits range between $1.6 and $4.4 billion by 2030. These benefits outweigh estimated costs by at least eight to one, while preventing over 300 premature deaths, 1,700 hospitalizations, and 23,000 lost workdays annually.

To meet the new exhaust emission standards, manufacturers will likely employ catalytic converters for the first time in small lawn and garden equipment. Improvements to battery technology makes the cordless battery lawn and garden tools as feasible alternatives to gasoline powered tools.

 

 

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