Air Pollution Causes Heart Attacks

Breathing air pollution is worse for your heart than your lungs, say scientists. A new study reveals that even one day's exposure to chemicals in the air increases heart attack rates.

What's the Latest Development?


A new survey of air pollutants from cities all over the world takes the broadest look yet at how breathing harmful chemicals affects the heart. The results are dramatic. Even short term exposure, defined by the study to be less than seven days, was associated with an increase in heart attacks. While the magnitude of air pollution is small relative to smoking, blood pressure and diabetes, it reaches far more peopleeveryone in a given cityand personal choice is removed from the equation, making pollution an issue of justice as well as health.

What's the Big Idea?

Luckily, the air of American cities has been getting steadily cleaner over the past few decades as cars, trucks, industry and consumer products have been forced to get cleaner. "Areas with excessive levels of one or more of the five pollutants [fine particles, coarse particles, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide] include the Los Angeles basin, California's San Joaquin Valley, the Salt Lake City area, Phoenix, New York City and Philadelphia." For many years, the focus of pollution's effects were on the lungs.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Keep reading Show less

Project 100,000: The Vietnam War's cruel and deadly experiment

Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?

Flickr user Tommy Truong79
Politics & Current Affairs
  • During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
  • The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
  • Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
Keep reading Show less

Here's how diverse the 116th Congress is set to become

The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.

(Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
  • In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
  • Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
Keep reading Show less