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Pollution from marine vessels linked to heart and lung disease
Date:11/7/2007

Pollution from marine shipping causes approximately 60,000 premature cardiopulmonary and lung cancer deaths around the world each year, according to a report scheduled to appear in the Dec. 15 issue of Environmental Science and Technology, the journal of the American Chemical Society.

The report benchmarks for the first time the number of annual deaths caused globally by pollution from marine vessels, with coastal regions in Asia and Europe the most affected.

Conducted by James Corbett of University of Delaware and James Winebrake from Rochester Institute of Technology, the study correlates the global distribution of particulate matterblack carbon, sulfur, nitrogen and organic particlesreleased from ships smoke stacks with heart disease and lung cancer mortalities in adults. The results indicate that approximately 60,000 people die prematurely around the world each year from shipping-related emissions. Under current regulation, and with the expected growth in shipping activity, Corbett and Winebrake estimate the annual mortalities from ship emissions could increase by 40 percent by 2012.

Corbett and Winebrakes results come in the midst of current discussions by the International Maritime Organization to regulate emissions from ships.

This study will help inform policymakers about some of the health impacts associated with ship emissions and the long range transport of those emissions to population centers, says Winebrake, chair of RITs Department of Science, Technology and Society/Public Policy. We now have a benchmark by which we can begin to evaluate the benefits of emission reduction policies.

Annual deaths related to shipping emissions in Europe are estimated at 26,710, while the mortality rate is 19,870 in East Asia and 9,950 in South Asia. North America has approximately 5,000 premature deaths, concentrated mostly in the Gulf Coast region, the West Coast and the Northeast, while the eastern coast of South Ame
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Contact: Susan Gawlowicz
smguns@rit.edu
585-475-5061
Rochester Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

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