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Killer Ozone?

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the ozone-smells-nice-until dept.

Science 70

Tufriast writes "This will make you think twice about an H2... The BBC News has reported that the death toll in U.S. cities might have a correlation to the ozone levels in them. The article mentions several major U.S. cities, and notices the upward trend in premature deaths as pollution levels rise. The results can also be found in the Journal of the American Medical Association."

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What? (0, Troll)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 9 years ago | (#10844407)

Why would I think twice about "an hydrogen"?

Re:What? (0, Flamebait)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 9 years ago | (#10844593)

Hummer2. Go outside once in a while and maybe you'll understand how people communicate.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10847015)

Whoooosh. That's the sound of the sarcasm flying over your head.

Fuckwit.

Not very scientific (2, Insightful)

El (94934) | more than 9 years ago | (#10844428)

Confusing correlation with cause again, I see... how is this for a theory: perhaps the same crowded conditions that create the accumulation of ozone also create stress in people's lives that makes them more prone to violence?

Re:Not very scientific (2, Funny)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 9 years ago | (#10844491)

No, of course this study is valid!

In uninhabited areas where there is no pollution, there has never been a premature death! Not even one!

Irrefutable proof!

Re:Not very scientific (2, Funny)

KDan (90353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10844807)

Hey, don't diss the study. This is a real breakthrough. They're basically saying that if you breathe poisonous stuff all day it increases your chance of dying prematurely. Astounding!

Daniel

Re:Not very scientific (0)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 9 years ago | (#10845201)

This is a real breakthrough. They're basically saying that if you breathe poisonous stuff all day it increases your chance of dying prematurely.

And your chance of voting Democrat!

--
Evan

Re:Not very scientific (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10845254)

Hasnt it lately been the Republicans who are pushing for fewer restrictions on big business, like oil and manufacturing, which spew out a significant amount of the pollution?

Re:Not very scientific (1)

El (94934) | more than 9 years ago | (#10847432)

Yes, but it is the people who live in urban centers and have to breathe all that crap that vote predominately Democrat. Those of us that can afford to live in the country view anything that shortens city-dwellers lives as a GOOD thing... would you like some tobacco with that? ;-)

Re:Not very scientific (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10851657)

Those of us that can afford to live in the country

Hah. This _had_ to be a joke. Compare the price of land in Manhattan or Chicago with the price of land in northwest Georgia.

Did you used to play RotS?

Re:Not very scientific (1)

tektrix (678830) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848265)

And based on study, the chances of you dying prematurely are increased by a whopping .52%. This assumes you are already going to die prematurely. If you start with 0 chance of dying prematurely and move to one of these cities, you will have an increase of .52% over 0. Wow . . . 0%

So, this is all moot unless you already know what your current chances are of dying prematurely (assuming of course, that you will).

"It's at the point of uncertainty that all things are possible. This can be a real problem."

Re:Not very scientific (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 9 years ago | (#10868258)

Heh, what is "premature death" anyway?

If you died, who's to say that wasn't when you were supposed to die?

I smell a George Carlin routiene here, but I couldn't hold a candle to that master. :)

Re:Not very scientific (1)

poningru (831416) | more than 9 years ago | (#10844498)

I am sure they took this into account, by comparing the stress levels and polutions in the cities. They would try to remove all other possible variables before publishing in such a manner.

Re:Not very scientific (1)

b-baggins (610215) | more than 9 years ago | (#10844923)

I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. Cheap.

Re:Not very scientific (3, Insightful)

benhocking (724439) | more than 9 years ago | (#10844503)

Why I agree that using correlation to suggest causation is a very weak argument, there are several other studies that demonstrate that ozone is definitively bad for us. What I don't understand is, how is this news? I was taught this back in the early 80's, based purely off of human physiology data. It was made very clear to us that ozone near the ground was bad, ozone high up in the ozone layer is good, and there's no way (known) to move ozone from the "bad place" to the "good place".

Re:Not very scientific (1)

DZign (200479) | more than 9 years ago | (#10852238)

exactly my opinion too - is this news ?
here in belgium in the summer there's sometimes an 'ozone alert', if the measured ozone concentrations get too high then on the news/weather forecast they warn for it, that older people and children shouldn't do any heavy activities in the middle of the day..

Re:Not very scientific (1)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 9 years ago | (#10859899)

  • here in belgium


Remember, United States.

The state of Florida was having almost weekly hurricans, I haven't seen a winter with a good (meaning it lasts for more than a day or two!) snow in the last 12 years up here in Seattle Washington,

and,

oh yah,

THE FREAKING POLAR ICE CAPS ARE MELTING.

(yes yes always are, but at a rather rapid rate now!)

and just now, JUST now, the current administration says that there MIGHT be something worth looking into.

and that they'll get around to it.

When ever they feel like it. ...

Re:Not very scientific (4, Interesting)

Bastian (66383) | more than 9 years ago | (#10844647)

Although I haven't read the study, they could try and control for this. If there are cities that are more densely populated but less polluted, and those cities are still following the ozone/death curve rather than a density/death curve, the case for ozone harming peoples' health is strengthened.

Re:Not very scientific (1)

bitingduck (810730) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850953)

I didn't read the study, but did read a version of the article in the LA Times. The study looked at temporal correlations-- high ozone levels for a few days increased the excess deaths for several days. The correlation held even at levels below the federal limit. The study was comparing densly populated areas to themselves as a function of time and ozone level. Ozone is already known to be bad for you to breathe-- if you want a demonstration, go into a small copy room, close the door, and run a thousand copies or so.

This isn't really big news, especially if you live in LA. In the areas where smog accumulates you can definitely tell when the ozone is higher, even when it's well below the federal limit. At least if you're fairly healthy you can tell. At about half the federal ozone limit, walking a few hundred feet up a steep hill is a lot more effort than when it's at about a quarter the limit (I walk up and down a pretty long steep hill several times a day most days at work). When it's at the limit (or worse, 1.5 to 2 times) it feels like you can barely breathe. And that's if you don't have asthma. If you do have asthma you can end up in the ER. People who aren't very aerobically fit may not notice it as much, or may just think they're in worse shape than they are, but if you are fairly fit it's pretty easy to tell when the ozone is high (and you can then check on the AQMD web page-it's reported hourly for various places in the LA basin).

RTFA (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10844717)

Link 1:
They found an increase of 10 ppb (parts per billion) in the previous week's ozone was associated with a 0.52% increase in the overall daily death rate and a 0.64% increase in cardiovascular and respiratory-related deaths.

Link 2:
Results A 10-ppb increase in the previous week's ozone was associated with a 0.52% increase in daily mortality (95% posterior interval [PI], 0.27%-0.77%) and a 0.64% increase in cardiovascular and respiratory mortality (95% PI, 0.31%-0.98%). Effect estimates for aggregate ozone during the previous week were larger than for models considering only a single day's exposure. Results were robust to adjustment for particulate matter, weather, seasonality, and long-term trends.

Sounds pretty scientific to me.

Re:Not very scientific (2, Funny)

AeiwiMaster (20560) | more than 9 years ago | (#10845164)

I think the Illuminati is trying to do for ozone [educate-yourself.org] / carbon oxide as they did for sodium fluoride / calcium flouride.
They will have us mistake the effect of ozone for that of carbon oxide as they hade us mistake the effect of the poison sodium fluoride for the effect of calcium fluoride. See :
1 [fluoride-journal.com]
2 [t-online.de]
3 [naturalfacts.com.au]

Re:Not very scientific (1)

Thuktun (221615) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867251)

From http://educate-yourself.org/ozone/ [educate-yourself.org] : Also, some cold plasma units have the capability of producing short-lived isotopes of ozone which include O4, O5, O6, O7 etc. These isotopes are even more reactive than O3.

This is a usage of the term 'isotope' I'm not familiar with. An isotope of an element is an atom with a different number of neutrons, but with similar chemical properties. I've never seen varying numbers of a particular element in a molecule as an 'isotope' before. Is this correct usage?

Re:Not very scientific (5, Funny)

orangesquid (79734) | more than 9 years ago | (#10845412)

Well, a tightly-controlled experiment is much better than a real-life study, any day.

In fact, you ought to make this double-blind.

Create two big rooms with machine-regulated environments. One room is full of noxious pollutants. The other room is full of clean air filled with known-harmless (or near-harmless) chemicals that emulate the smell of pollution. Label the rooms, machines, and tanks of supply chemicals with a simple "A" or "B" so those administering the experiment can't influence the participants.

Now, abduct newborns from hospitals across the world. Do this at as many places as possible, so as to get the best random distribution of human participants. Then, put half (selected randomly) in room A, and the remaining in room B.

Observe the morbidity and mortality rates over time. When everybody has died, the experiment designers/evaluators will get the data back, match up the data for "A" and "B" with the conditions for each room, and there you go.

But, there's still a flaw. The administrators might guess which room is truly cleaner based on the health conditions in each. To correct for this, one option is to create a third room that is clean, but sneak in there during the night and randomly kill some participants. Another option is to create dozens of rooms, all with varying amounts of pollution, and give teams of ninjas assignments, distributed randomly (if you just murder the kids in the clean room, you'll end up with similar mortality rates, and no useful result; also, ninjas or something similar must be used, so that the murders can occur without anybody involved in the experiment catching on; the administrators, of course, will be told about the ninjas, but will not know who they intend to attack, nor will they haev any way of detecting them; the murders would, of course, have to be done with poisons that haev very similar effects to long term pollutant exposure).

There's still a few problems with this set-up; anybody want to take over refining the design from here?

I'm not sure... (1)

rk (6314) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848861)

I can't quite put my finger on it, and I'm not trying to be alarmist or a Luddite, but it's possible there are some ethical or moral problems in this experiment. Not likely, but still possible.

We should have legal check it out and get back to us.

Re:Not very scientific (1)

bigmanjq (824222) | more than 9 years ago | (#10862351)

Tests could be done to simulate this using animals, but there would still be some to argue against it because of ethical and moral concerns.

And in a truly scientific experiment, I doubt the administrators would kill any participants to skew the results (I realize it was tongue-in-cheek).

Animal testing, as much as some people despise it, can lead to prolonging human life and improving the quality of human life.

Re:Not very scientific (1)

orangesquid (79734) | more than 9 years ago | (#10862748)

Animal testing, as much as some people despise it, can lead to prolonging human life and improving the quality of human life.

Very true. If it were straightforward to place a number (call it the "Gaia" factor) on the overall health (measured by diversity and stability, perhaps?) of the planet, then we could run simulations to determine how much animal experimentation is fair before we're doing more harm than good.

But, that kind of thing is horridly complicated, and sounds a lot like the sociopsychomathematics (is that what it was called?) of Asimov's Foundation series...

Mod parent down (2, Informative)

famebait (450028) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851905)

"Not very scientific", "Confusing correlation with cause again, I see... how is this for a theory: perhaps the same crowded conditions that create the accumulation of ozone also create stress in people's lives that makes them more prone to violence?"

If you want to be scientific, how about starting with actually reading the article you want to discredit? Your criticism is not only ill-founded, you don't even seem to know what claim it is you are trying to refute. Not exacly a shining example of scientific approach, are you?

The article only claimed that scientists suspect a link (impying it should be investigated), as any scientist would and should when such a correlation is discovered. It also says that the deaths were not violent, and that the correleated variations were on the scale of weeks, which rules out population changes. This would have taken most people less than a minute to read.

"Insightful" my ass.

H_2 or O_3? (1, Troll)

benhocking (724439) | more than 9 years ago | (#10844437)

I do not think that H2 means what you think it means.

Re:H_2 or O_3? (3, Informative)

hopemafia (155867) | more than 9 years ago | (#10844526)

Actually, I think the submitter was referring to the Hummer2 not diatomic hydrogen.

But hydrogen is what I thought at first glance too...

Re:H_2 or O_3? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10844755)

I think that might have been the joke, but it's hard to tell.

Hummer2 (1)

benhocking (724439) | more than 9 years ago | (#10845153)

That would make sense, and does seem more logical than making such an obvious mistake. Didn't occur to me.

Re:H_2 or O_3? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10853675)

I for one am happy to see these cars rolling down the street by the dozens. Nothing will get us to a hydrogen fuel economy faster... than using up all the petrol out there.

Re:H_2 or O_3? (1)

MrBigInThePants (624986) | more than 9 years ago | (#10860009)

I thought hydrogen also, I am not up on the latest hummer models...go figure.

At any rate, do you really think the sort of person who is contemplating buying a hummer is going to be worried about the possible side effects of emmissions on other people?? They already ignored the environment. (and therefore other people)

How can you isolate for one variable? (1)

CodeWanker (534624) | more than 9 years ago | (#10844480)

I thought that hot, humid, still weather contributed to the level of ozone in the ground-level air. I know that Atlanta is crisp and clean in the fall/winter and a hazy nightmare in the summer. Is there a connection between hot, stuffy weather and cardiovascular stress, too? Or instead? This sounds a lot more like someone making a bold grab for tenure than good science.

Pretty easily (1)

Engineer-Poet (795260) | more than 9 years ago | (#10846952)

There are hot areas with smog, hot areas with little smog, and cool areas with lots of smog precursors; you can use epidemiological methods to tease out the contribution of each.

As you know (but others may not), high temperatures contribute to smog formation. Smog goes up by about 3% for each degree over 70 fahrenheit. [lbl.gov]

Its not the H2s (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 9 years ago | (#10844578)

Its them damn charged plate air filters!

Re:Its not the H2s (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10844778)

I'm very skeptical of those things. If they are so easy to clean, then they really can't be doing anything. If they're actually removing lots of junk from the air there should be a lot of junk to clean out.

Re:Its not the H2s (0)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 9 years ago | (#10845135)

Well as opposed to what the commerical shows you, what they really do is release a lot of ozone. Most of what is on the "collection grids" is actually burnt ozone. Either way this ozone grabs dust and junk and drags it down to the ground. But it also get into your lungs, and honestly isn't good for you.

Re:Its not the H2s (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10845500)

Burnt ozone? Elaborate...

Re:Its not the H2s (4, Informative)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 9 years ago | (#10845564)

Most of what is on the "collection grids" is actually burnt ozone

How do you "burn" oxygen? :)

A properly designed ionic air filter does not produce any detectable ozone. There ARE some types of air cleaners that are designed specifically for ozone production - ozone is a powerful antiseptic and rids the air of all sorts of airborne bacteria and the like.

=Smidge=

Re:Its not the H2s (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 9 years ago | (#10845614)

I don't know what it is, but I know you get the same black soot on your walls after using one of these things. So I just assumed it was the ozone as it certainly smells like its burning.

Re:Its not the H2s (3, Informative)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 9 years ago | (#10845924)

Ozone is pure oxygen, just in tri-atomic instead of di-atomic form. It has a very distinct "electric" odor (not a burning smell) and prolonged exposure can be a problem. The occasional breif whiff isn't going to hurt you.

The black stuff is dust and dirt and other crud that used to be in the air. The devices work by ionizing particles and some gas molecules in the air and using an electric field to move them through the device. The "collection plates" are the positive electrode, and when the ionized air and dust contact with it, they lose their negative charge. Dust particles get stuck on the plate and are thus removed from the air.

Some ionized material makes it through, and this is what collects on your walls. Ever try rubbing a baloon on your shirt and sticking it to the wall? Same thing.

If properly designed, the voltages are not sufficient to generate significant ozone.
=Smidge=

Re:Its not the H2s (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10853284)

I had one of those ionizers pointing to a wall (about 5 feet away in a slant mind you) for about 3-5 years. The paint edded up with a greyish stain that couldn't be cleaned off. Had to paint over it.

H2 vs O3.. (0, Troll)

adeyadey (678765) | more than 9 years ago | (#10844649)

Excess free H2 would indeed be a killer, as the Hindenburg demonstrated, although I think you mean O3..

Of course there would be lots of other things happening in the cities where O3 was high - other pollutants, stress, and things that make people ill - now if the research factors that out, it might be onto something.

Excess H2 in US cities would be a GOOD thing - if the USA was to commit to widespread usage of Hydrogen power generated from renewables (it probably actually has enough wind/solar resources to make ALL the power it needs, if some niceties like infrastructure are sorted.. see www.awea.org) it would not have a lot of death from O3, or need to fight nasty wars in the middle east.. but then you voted JR Ewing back in, didnt you..

H2 (1)

Mark of THE CITY (97325) | more than 9 years ago | (#10845481)

Not hydrogen, but a Hummer H2, the big SUV.

Re:H2 vs O3.. (1)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 9 years ago | (#10846758)

H2 didn't kill people in the Hindinburg. Neither did fire, in fact. The hydrogen burned extremely fast and rose very rapidly upwards, away from the passengers. Most of the passengers were crushed to death under the collapsing structure of the airship, rather than burned to death in the fire.

Re:H2 vs O3.. (1)

Punboy (737239) | more than 9 years ago | (#10858833)

-poke- what about the hindinburg? I thought we were talking about the Hummer2

H2? (0, Redundant)

PoPRawkZ (694140) | more than 9 years ago | (#10844650)

Isn't ozone O3?

Re:H2? (0, Offtopic)

ilyanep (823855) | more than 9 years ago | (#10847112)

and then I get -1 score for redundancy -- Read above, H2 = hummer 2

OMG! (2, Funny)

JVert (578547) | more than 9 years ago | (#10844706)

I better turn up my ionizer air filter so i can kill all these ozone pollutants!

i don't think therefore I am not (-1, Flamebait)

Glog (303500) | more than 9 years ago | (#10844756)

The recent US election results prove that at least half of Americans do not EVER think twice about anything at all... including the relation between ozone and death levels... or carbon dioxide and the increasingly more common news about melting glaciers, rising sea levels, disappearing flora and fauna, etc.

Note to christians, evangelicals, and what not - this is one case where Jesus is NOT going to make it ok in the "second coming" which is happening any time now (tm). The fact that you don't believe in global warming and evolution doesn't mean those things don't exist. I constantly hear the argument - "the fact that you don't believe in god doesn't mean he doesn't exist." Well, duh, two can play this game!

Re:i don't think therefore I am not (-1, Flamebait)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 9 years ago | (#10845249)

And just because you do not believe in God does not mean that you are not a biggot. Actually in the "second coming" if christians are right it will be fixed. However that does not mean that those that trash the planet will not have to answer for it if christians are right. Believe what you like but show others some respect as well.

Re:i don't think therefore I am not (1)

Slime-dogg (120473) | more than 9 years ago | (#10845830)

Oh please. You're turning an article that is sensationalism at its best into a political flamefest.

People who voted republican probably do think twice about things. Maybe, they even think three or four times. People who voted democratic probably do as well. If you judge people's IQ's, ability of rational thought, or their environmental concerns by their religion or political ideologies, then you have some serious priority issues that need resolving.

Who the hell mods this crap as insightful??

Re:i don't think therefore I am not (1)

Glog (303500) | more than 9 years ago | (#10849934)

Read this if you please: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4013719.stm

Re:i don't think therefore I am not (1)

anubi (640541) | more than 9 years ago | (#10852376)

Quite an informative link. Thanks for posting it.

I repeat your link below but clickable for the convenience of those yet to see this.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4013719.stm [bbc.co.uk]

And, didn't God state that we were supposed to be his stewards of the Earth? Would you be pleased if you came back home to discover your babysitter had a party and let your baby starve? I get the idea God is gonna be pissed. Really pissed.

H2=Hummer2 (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10844871)

For the love of GM, they aren't talking about Hydrogen. It's the Hummer 2, haven't you ever seen those commercials with the geeky kid who builds one out of wood and kicks the other kids' asses in a race?

Re:H2=Hummer2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10849771)

I have no love for GM. None for the car company.... none for the food....

Misuse of "Happy Jack" (1)

Red Rocket (473003) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854416)



...haven't you ever seen those commercials with the geeky kid who builds one out of wood and kicks the other kids' asses in a race?

Unfortunately, I have. That's the commercial that bastardizes the meaning of The Who's "Happy Jack" and turns it completely on its head.

The song speaks about a kid who's a little slow who gets abused by pricks and bullies, but who somehow manages to remain upbeat and happy despite their abuse, thus prevailing.

The commercial seems to highlight the line "they couldn't prevent Jack from being happy." Presumably implying that you can drive an H2 and put a thumb in the eye of those mean old environmentalists who are just trying to spoil your happiness.

The truth is that people who purchase SUVs desire to be intimidating and domineering. That's not just my opinion, it's documented by market researchers who used that research to recommend to GM that they tint the windows of their SUVs so they look more intimidating. (See The Corporation [thecorporation.com] )

So the H2 driver is exactly the antagonist in "Happy Jack" rather than the protagonist Jack. It just boggles my mind that they used that song in the commercial.

lots of sarcasm or what? (1)

sevinkey (448480) | more than 9 years ago | (#10844889)

Either everyone is making a bad joke here about H2 meaning hydrogen, or they don't live in an area where the hummer h2 is trendy.

I'm hoping it's the first one, kinda, although i'd be happy if I never saw an H2 :D

Thankfully, the H2 is not trendy in C'ville (1)

benhocking (724439) | more than 9 years ago | (#10845401)

Speaking as one of the ones living in an area where the H2 is not trendy (Charlottesville, VA, and I don't think it's a coincidence that we were declared the best city [usatoday.com] to live in the US!), I was not making a bad joke (or even a good one!). That H2 stood for Hummer2 never crossed my mind until someone pointed it out.

Of course, this gets back to all the other acronym's used on slashdot (e.g., LSB not standing for least significant bit). Whether an acronym/abbreviation is obvious or not depends on one's experience more than a lot of people account for - frequently including myself. I'm not attempting to slam the submitters/editors - I'm just making the point.

Re:Thankfully, the H2 is not trendy in C'ville (1)

sevinkey (448480) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848786)

man if I had some modpoints I'd try to give you 3 for that one.

agnots!

acronyms get NASTY on this site.

Article is interesting because (5, Interesting)

Sai Babu (827212) | more than 9 years ago | (#10845177)

"Peaks in air ozone levels were linked with peaks in premature death rates in urban areas across the US"

It's well known that long term exposure to ground level ozone attacks your lungs and plastic and rubber products (tires, molding on your car, rubberized and vinyl fabrics, etc.)

This AMA report sez that short term correlation suggests further study. Well of course, you want to know what you're up against.

It's not the H2 that's the problem. One old V-8 that's exempt from emmission testing and driving around on 6 cylinders causes more of a problem than a hundred hummers.
The poor need their cars so these things stay on the road.

Actually, the H2 is a problem (2, Informative)

Engineer-Poet (795260) | more than 9 years ago | (#10847097)

The H2 is a "heavy light-duty" truck, and is allowed to emit much more of most pollutants than a passenger car. See this document. [dieselnet.com]

Ironically, many California cities restrict trucks over 6500 lbs GVW to truck routes; they wouldn't have to raise mileage standards to get those Hummers and Durangoes off the roads, all they'd have to do is enforce the truck restrictions they already have.

pollution in cities is much better now (2, Insightful)

terevos (148651) | more than 9 years ago | (#10848874)

Uhh.. I see that people have failed to mention that pollution in cities has really gone down in the past 50 years. There was a period of time from the industrial revolution where the pollution was particularly bad. Now pollution in major cities is way down. I'm glad they've done the pollution control they've done so far, but there's no reason to get all crazy in thinking that we're totally destroying the earth by our air pollution right now. We're doing a whole lot better than we were about 50 years ago.

Some books like 'The Resourceful Earth' and 'The State of Humanity' by Julian Simon has plenty of facts and stats about how the air in cities is as clean is as it was in 1580. That's right - 1580! I'd say we're doing pretty good now.

Re:pollution in cities is much better now (1)

calidoscope (312571) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850799)

Uhh.. I see that people have failed to mention that pollution in cities has really gone down in the past 50 years.

That is if you are talking about air pollution. For other forms of pollution, the story is a little different.

Go back towards the end of the 19th century and one of the big urban pollution problems was horse manure (I'd rather deal with ozone than finely ground horseshit). One of the big selling points of the electric streetcar was that it didn't have the pollution problems associated with the horsecar.

Then there was the problem of smoke from coal burning furnaces (natural gas is a lot cleaner burning). A related issue now is that many areas are prohibiting installation of wood burning fireplaces - the bumper sticker "Split wood - not atoms" is really bad advice.

A datum in support of your original point - the air in San Diego County is much cleaner (i.e. fewer smoggy days) than it was in the late 1970's - with the exception of cold nights when people light off their fireplaces (and of course the first few days of the Cedar Fire).

but it could still be a lot better (1)

bitingduck (810730) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851021)

The air in LA is a lot better than it used to be, but it still sucks a lot of the time (particularly inland). It could be a lot better, and if we don't continue to pay attention to it and control pollution sources it will get worse again.

I bet the air in LA was a lot cleaner in 1580 than it is now.

Re:but it could still be a lot better (1)

terevos (148651) | more than 9 years ago | (#10853681)

True. I'm sure there are a number of cities in America that are still fairly polluted. But as a whole, we aren't doing too bad. Let's work to clean up those cities too. But no reason to declare that we're all going to die because we live in cities and the air pollution is killer.

Danger from laser printers? (1)

CompSurfer (759218) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851358)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't laser printers emit a some amount of O3 when charging the paper to make toner stick? Assuming they do, does this mean it may be bad to have all that O3 contained within a room? (And having the source so close to the user can't help either)

This [aerias.org] page (dunno if their data is accurate) says "Concentrations of ozone in a room where laser printers are being used can exceed the currently regulated standard for ozone in the outdoor air."

Huh, guess there's a downside to faster printing.

poetic justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10853338)

Most big-wigs have their own personal laser printers in the closed office.
Hint: help them further and remove the ozone filter.

Yes (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 9 years ago | (#10863271)

What you want more?

Yes having a source of any poisonous gas without good ventilation is bad.

Wich is way any half way decent garage will have a setup to vent the exhaust fans from cars they are working on to the outside.

Why forklifts dedicated to working inside are electric.

Why non-smokers want smokers to stand outside in the freezing rain. (well actually this is because we hate the goddamn slackers and their 15 minute smoking breaks every half hour)

Any decent copier/printer room will have an exhaust system because the air inside is definetly not healthy.

No this does not mean that your laser printer at home is going to kill you instantly. However if you are in a small cabinet with a set of copiers and printers in constant use you will definitely be taking in more poison then is compatible with a 80+ lifespan.

1 laser printer wich is rarely used in a cubicle area is harmless. A bunch of copiers/printers in a small area in constant use IS bad. Ventilate that room.

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