French air pollution deaths quantified

Air pollution kills nearly 3,000 people per year in nine of France's largest cities, with a total population of over 11m, the Paris-based Institute for health monitoring (INVS) reported this week. The statistics do not take account of age or other factors, whereas INVS has previously estimated premature deaths from exposure to air pollution (EED 20/04/99). Prolonged exposure combined with a rise of 10 micrograms per cubic metre in pollutant levels increases risk levels by between 1.2 and 4.6%, the institute concludes. By comparison, it notes that smokers' excess risk is 300%. See press release.

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