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:

Big Think
Sponsored by Lumina Foundation

Upvote/downvote each of the videos below!

As you vote, keep in mind that we are looking for a winner with the most engaging social venture pitch - an idea you would want to invest in.

Keep reading Show less

7 fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Here are 7 often-overlooked World Heritage Sites, each with its own history.

Photo by Raunaq Patel on Unsplash
Culture & Religion
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites are locations of high value to humanity, either for their cultural, historical, or natural significance.
  • Some are even designated as World Heritage Sites because humans don't go there at all, while others have felt the effects of too much human influence.
  • These 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites each represent an overlooked or at-risk facet of humanity's collective cultural heritage.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists create a "lifelike" material that has metabolism and can self-reproduce

An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists discover how to trap mysterious dark matter

A new method promises to capture an elusive dark world particle.

Surprising Science
  • Scientists working on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) devised a method for trapping dark matter particles.
  • Dark matter is estimated to take up 26.8% of all matter in the Universe.
  • The researchers will be able to try their approach in 2021, when the LHC goes back online.
Keep reading Show less