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Speaking of personhood and autonomy, it is possible to imagine how difficult it is for these concepts to be abstract. In the world of work, there are objective limits to

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Extensive research has confirmed previously known links between short-term exposure to particulate matter and an increased risk of hospitalization and death from heart and lung disease, diabetes, and thromboembolism. But it also identified an increased risk of hospitalization for numerous conditions, ranging from sepsis to kidney failure.
These innovations are emphasized by Yaguang Wei, researcher at Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, and first author of the study: ” We discovered previously unknown links between pollution and common diseases among older people, such as alterations in fluid volumes and electrolyte concentrations, septicemia, anemia, urinary tract infections and renal failure, even when daily PM2.5 concentrations were lower than the levels indicated in air quality guidelines issued by the World Health Organization.”
For these diseases, which are rarely studied in relation to pollution, each short-term increase of 1 microgram per cubic meter in average PM 2.5 levels was associated with an average of 2,050 additional hospitalizations per year, 12,216 total days in the hospital, and $31 million in hospital and post-acute costs.
Dust produced by pollution is classified according to its size: PM 2.5 has a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers and is the most dangerous to human health, being able to penetrate the pulmonary alveoli with eventual diffusion into the bloodstream. According to the aforementioned WHO guidelines published in 2005, people should not be exposed to 24-hour average levels of PM 2.5 exceeding 25 micrograms per cubic meter of air.
The team that conducted this new study examined hospital data of Medicare patients, the main medical insurance program administered by the U.S. government aimed at the elderly, from 2000 to 2012. They focused on 214 health conditions and analyzed data on average air pollution levels on the day of admission and the previous day in the location where the patients resided.
Often, people are unable to avoid exposure to air pollution, but they can still take some precautions.
Anyone, but especially those with health problems that can be exacerbated by air pollution, such as cardiovascular conditions, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), should inquire about local air quality levels and, on particularly critical days, follow the advice of experts, who suggest closing windows and avoiding outdoor exercise. “In addition,” it said in an editorial that presented the study by the U.S. researchers, “both patients and physicians should be aware of the impact that poor air quality can have on disease exacerbation in order to better understand and perhaps treat such flare-ups.
Source: Wei Y, Wang et al. Short-term exposure to fine particulate matter and hospital admission risks and costs in the Medicare population: time stratified, case crossover study. BMJ. 2019 Nov 27;367:l6258.


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