Academic journal article The Science Teacher

As Amazon Fires Recede, Human Health Improves

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

As Amazon Fires Recede, Human Health Improves

Article excerpt

Because of decreasing deforestation and emissions from forest fires in the Amazon over the past 10 years, the amount of particulate matter (aerosols), ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and other atmospheric pollutants released by burning biomass has fallen by 30% on average during the dry season in southern Brazil, Paraguay, northern Bolivia, and Argentina.

This improvement in the region's air quality may be helping to prevent the premature deaths of some 1,700 adults per year throughout South America.

These estimates come from a study performed by researchers at the University of Sao Paulo (USP) in Brazil in collaboration with colleagues from the Universities of Leeds and Manchester in England and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States.

"The study shows for the first time that reducing deforestation results in improved air quality, which in turn leads to a reduction in the number of deaths due to exposure to atmospheric pollution in most of South America," says Paulo Artaxo, professor of physics at USP and one of the authors of the paper. …

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