Bones too are affected by smog, study says

bones too are affected by smog study says

A new U.S. study indicated that excessive exposure to air pollution may affect the bone health of a person.

The population considered for the research included 9.2 million Medicare enrollees from the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic region, who were hospitalized because of bone injuries like fractures from 2003 to 2010.

This study reported that small exposure to air pollution particulate matter, known as PM2.5 is linked with rise in number of fractures in older adults. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers PM2.5 as a particle with diameter 2.5 micrometer that is inhalable.

Another experiment was conducted in which, the researchers considered eight years follow up among 692 middle-aged people with low income in Boston.


This study concluded that the people living in the area, where the PM2.5 particles are freely available in the air (exposed by vehicle exhaust), were highly affected. These people possessed a lower level of calcium and hormones related to bones and, thus had low bone mineral density and more prone to defective bone system or osteoporosis.

The study author, Dr. Andrea Baccarelli, Chairman, Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, New York City, said, “Decades of careful research has documented the health risks of air pollution, from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases to cancer and impaired cognition [thinking skills], and now osteoporosis.”

He also added that the benefits of clean air is not limited to fracture prevention, but also helpful for better bone health. However, the study did not establish direct cause-and-effect relationship between bone problems and air pollution.