Trees clear the air, cut healthcare costs

Natural Health News – A major new assessment in the US It has been shown to live trees are saving and prevention of acute respiratory symptoms -. and therefore save money all

If you live in an urban area the benefits are greater.

air pollutants are associated with a wide range of negative impacts on the health of the lungs, heart, circulatory and neurological systems.

Focusing on the respiratory effects, scientists working with the Forest United States considered four pollutants for which the EPA has set standards for air quality: nitrogen dioxide (NO 2) , ozone (O 3) , sulfur dioxide and particles less than 2.5 microns (PM 2.5 ) in diameter.

They then calculated that trees are saving more than 850 lives a year and prevent 670,000 human cases of acute respiratory symptoms.

The magazine Environmental Pollution researchers said hile w ability trees’ to eliminate pollution equated an average air quality improvement of less than 1%, the impact of this improvement is substantial, cutting health and other costs for about $ 7 billion each year.

valuation of nature

The study is unique because while several studies have estimated elimination of pollution by trees , most not directly link the elimination with better effects on human health or a monetary value on the benefits they get.

In this study, as many elimination of pollution was O 3 and NO 2 , while the greatest value in terms of savings health costs associated with the removal it was for PM 2.5 and O 3 .

The tree cover was associated with a national reduction of more than 850 deaths. In the USA. There are about 130,000 PM 2.5 -related and 4,700 ozone-related deaths deaths each year. Although the effect of saving the life of having trees in your area may look small (approximately 0.6%) amounts to huge savings in terms of health and other costs.

Based on the current number of trees in the US, researchers estimate that this has helped to reduce more than 670,000 incidences of acute respiratory symptoms, 430,000 incidents of exacerbation of asthma and 200,000 days school break.

The benefits of tree cover vary from one area to another. Tree cover in the US It is estimated at 34.2% of the land, but varies from 2.6% in North Dakota to 88.9% in New Hampshire. The states with the highest rates of elimination of pollution were California, Texas and Georgia, while the states that have seen the greatest savings in health care and other costs were Florida, Pennsylvania and California.

great benefits for urban dwellers

The scientists found that while the elimination of pollution is substantially higher in rural areas than in urban areas, the effects on human health are substantially higher in urban areas than in rural areas.

For example, because human populations are more concentrated in urban areas, the effects on the health of the trees, and their value in terms of disease prevention in urban areas accounts for about 68% of the $ 7 billion savings.

air pollutants are associated with a wide range of negative impacts on the health of the lungs, heart, circulatory and neurological systems.

“We found that the larger the coverage tree, generally, the greater the elimination of pollution, and the greater the removal and population density, the greater the value of benefits for human health. “said researcher David Nowak Forest Service Northern Research station.

With over 80% of Americans live in urban areas, this research highlights how essential urban forests are for human welfare.

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