A Very Particulate Matter

Up to 22% of infant deaths in sub-Saharan Africa could be prevented with minor improvements to air quality, according to a new study published in Nature.

Spanning 30 African countries, the research found a “robust relationship” between premature death and tiny breathable air pollutants such as dust and debris from biomass burning, used for cooking and heating across the continent.

Pollution sources vary widely, so its scourge may be best tackled at the local and regional level, the study notes. While urban areas may benefit from reducing traffic congestion, comprehensive policies may be required to replace biomass-burning in rural communities with cleaner alternatives.

The Independent

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