Alaska links air quality with hospital visits?

EPA chief Lisa Jackson debunks this one for us.

The state of Alaska reports that airborne particulate matter is associated with increased hospital visits for what looks to be strokes and respiratory infections in the elderly.

Aside from the sketchiness of Alaska’s statistical analysis, it is, of course, unclear as to how particulate matter would cause stroke or infections.

Fortunately, we have EPA chief Lisa Jackson riding to the rescue. readers will remember that Lisa Jackson testified to Congress on Sep. 22 that,

Particulate matter causes premature death. It doesn’t make you sick. It’s directly causal to dying sooner than you should.

Our Green Goddess has spoken and so the Alaska report must be wrong.

3 thoughts on “Alaska links air quality with hospital visits?”

  1. Correlation is not causation. The particulates, are probably a symptom of poverty. Natives living in off the grid villages where they use diesel generators all winter. They may also build wood fires to cook on and for warmth.

  2. Agreed. PM can give you black lung. That’s a well known effect. PM can affect asthma, that’s also pretty well known.

    However, I haven’t heard or seen any evidence that can show how particulate matter is related to stroke or heart failure. That’s what bugs me. These aren’t even lung problems that they are claiming are caused by air pollution, but heart problems. Common sense would indicate the lungs would be hardest hit, which is why I don’t get angry with people connecting the asthma rise with pollution. Despite the inverse relationship, at least it makes sense initially. The mechanism where particulate in the air can cause a stroke is not apparent, nor have I seen even a curory attempt to explain it.

  3. How does one die sooner without getting sick? I understand getting an immediately lethal dose of airborne lead from a chemically propelled projectile. But how does one get such a dose from PM?

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