Air pollution expert Wig Zamore speaks to Milton about plane traffic

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On March 31, Air pollution expert Wig Zamore spoke to a group of Milton resident’s about air traffic.

Here are some points he made made during the presentation:

Ultrafine particles are particulate matter of nanoscale size (less than 100 nanometres in diameter). Ultrafine particles are normally only generated at very high temperatures, such as combustion processes. One can think of wood fires, industry, engines, cooking fumes, or cigarette smoke. The most important source of ultrafine particles in urban air, however, is car traffic and air traffic.

  • 10% of all deaths in the U.S. are from air pollution.
  • Planes and other vehicles produce ultrafine particles in their pollution.
  • Low-flying plane arrivals are much closer to people. They create a lot of organic ultrafine particles.
  • The single worst thing to do with respect to ultrafine particles is to concentrate the population [close to particles].
  • Ultrafine Particles in the air are a lot more dangerous than gasses.
  • Ultrafine particles are completely unregulated (unlike gasses).
  • We are finding elevated ultrafine particles associated with Logan Airport.
  • We looked at mortality records for 5 years for all 351 MA cities and towns. Premature mortalities were similar to those predicted by exposure to air pollution (via roadways, etc.).
  • Transportation dominates our energy consumption. It it how we use 70% of all of our petroleum.
  • Communicable diseases are [becoming] less important and environmentally-caused diseases are becoming more important, all over the earth.
  • Air pollution is becoming more of a health problem than cigarette smoking.
  • When inhaled, ultrafine particles generally penetrate more deeply into the lungs.
  • Risk of autism is 200% higher for children with high air pollution exposures during the first year of life.
  • The smaller the particles, the further they penetrate into the body.
  • People with central A/C have about half has much air pollution in their homes as those who do not.
  • People are more sensitive now and highly annoyed to jet noise than they were years ago.
  • 2.5 million people die each year from air pollution
  • Cardiovascular is the largest health problem resulting from air pollution.
  • People shouldn’t live within 300 feet of a highway due the the air pollution.
  • We are 10 years behind Europe on noise studies related to air traffic.
  • Moving to or exercising in a cleaner place is always going to improve your health.
  • 10% of the population dies from ultrafine particles  — even in “clean places” like Boston.


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