When air pollution in a city declines, the city benefits with a directly proportional drop in death rates, a new study has found.
Well, the Dockery and company published a seminal set of articles on the 6 city study back in the 90s that are the gold standard of air pollution epidemiology. It takes large long-term studies like these to establish even tenuous correlations, and their graphs connecting particle concentrations and mortality were beautiful straight lines.
This follow up is pretty cool because the cities had made most of the reductions in the 70s and 80s after the passage of the Clean Air Act and this study clearly demonstrates that the bar for lowering mortality/cancer rates by lowering fine particle levels has not been reached yet. The abstract of the paper is below the fold.