There's good news and bad news when it comes to air quality in Israel. On the one hand, Israel's annual monitoring report for 2006 reveals improvements in air pollution, especially when it comes to pollution from transportation sources in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Living close to a busy road can damage your heart - and now we're closer to understanding why. Previous studies had suggested that people living in polluted areas are more at risk of heart disease.

Urban populations are exposed to a high level of fine and ultrafine particles from motor vehicle emissions which affect human health.

A large body of epidemiologic literature has found an association of increased fine particulate air pollution (PM2.5) with acute and chronic mortality. The effect of improvements in particle exposure is less clear.

To be monitored in Indian cities, says pollution board

In this study, the authors assessed the relationship between daily changes in respiratory health and particulate levels with diameters of (a) less than 10 μm (PM10) and (b) less than 2.5 μm (PM2.5) in Kanpur, India.

A recent release from the Central Pollution Control Board, Parivesh, January 2003, presents deadly facts about air pollution levels in Indian cities. According to the report, Ahmedabad s air is the most noxious. Kanpur, Solapur and Lucknow follow closely,

India is facing a serious double burden of disease. Most of the old infectious diseases like malaria, filariasis and kala-azar have not yet disappeared; indeed they are bouncing back. At the same time, other chronic non-communicable diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and respiratory disorders are becoming more dominant.

It is dangerous to breathe in most Indian cities, and even though the government accepts this, precious little is being done about it.

The great smog disasters of the past have made clear that air pollution can kill people in a matter of days: extremely high concentrations of air pollution building up under conditions of low wind speed and stable atmospheric conditions have been associated with excess deaths in the Meuse Valley, Belgium (1930); Donora, PA, United States (1948); and London, United Kingdom (1952).

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