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      The Imperative for Climate Action to Protect Health

      1 , 1
      New England Journal of Medicine
      New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM/MMS)

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          Most cited references33

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          Global estimates of mortality associated with long-term exposure to outdoor fine particulate matter

          Significance Exposure to outdoor concentrations of fine particulate matter is considered a leading global health concern, largely based on estimates of excess deaths using information integrating exposure and risk from several particle sources (outdoor and indoor air pollution and passive/active smoking). Such integration requires strong assumptions about equal toxicity per total inhaled dose. We relax these assumptions to build risk models examining exposure and risk information restricted to cohort studies of outdoor air pollution, now covering much of the global concentration range. Our estimates are severalfold larger than previous calculations, suggesting that outdoor particulate air pollution is an even more important population health risk factor than previously thought.
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            Increasing CO2 threatens human nutrition.

            Dietary deficiencies of zinc and iron are a substantial global public health problem. An estimated two billion people suffer these deficiencies, causing a loss of 63 million life-years annually. Most of these people depend on C3 grains and legumes as their primary dietary source of zinc and iron. Here we report that C3 grains and legumes have lower concentrations of zinc and iron when grown under field conditions at the elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration predicted for the middle of this century. C3 crops other than legumes also have lower concentrations of protein, whereas C4 crops seem to be less affected. Differences between cultivars of a single crop suggest that breeding for decreased sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 concentration could partly address these new challenges to global health.
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              Public health benefits of strategies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions: urban land transport.

              We used Comparative Risk Assessment methods to estimate the health effects of alternative urban land transport scenarios for two settings-London, UK, and Delhi, India. For each setting, we compared a business-as-usual 2030 projection (without policies for reduction of greenhouse gases) with alternative scenarios-lower-carbon-emission motor vehicles, increased active travel, and a combination of the two. We developed separate models that linked transport scenarios with physical activity, air pollution, and risk of road traffic injury. In both cities, we noted that reduction in carbon dioxide emissions through an increase in active travel and less use of motor vehicles had larger health benefits per million population (7332 disability-adjusted life-years [DALYs] in London, and 12 516 in Delhi in 1 year) than from the increased use of lower-emission motor vehicles (160 DALYs in London, and 1696 in Delhi). However, combination of active travel and lower-emission motor vehicles would give the largest benefits (7439 DALYs in London, 12 995 in Delhi), notably from a reduction in the number of years of life lost from ischaemic heart disease (10-19% in London, 11-25% in Delhi). Although uncertainties remain, climate change mitigation in transport should benefit public health substantially. Policies to increase the acceptability, appeal, and safety of active urban travel, and discourage travel in private motor vehicles would provide larger health benefits than would policies that focus solely on lower-emission motor vehicles.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                New England Journal of Medicine
                N Engl J Med
                New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM/MMS)
                0028-4793
                1533-4406
                January 17 2019
                January 17 2019
                : 380
                : 3
                : 263-273
                Affiliations
                [1 ]From the Departments of Public Health, Environments, and Society and of Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London (A.H.); and the Departments of Global Health and of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle (K.E.).
                Article
                10.1056/NEJMra1807873
                30650330
                6418352a-be84-4908-929a-b85ab5143ec4
                © 2019
                History

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