‘Save Environment, stop deforestation, don’t cut forests’- we have heard about these social causes time and again. But cutting own of trees and unabated clearing of forest regions for urbanization is occurring rampantly worldwide. But a new study has underlined the advantages of trees and plants for the living beings on Earth.
According to the scientists, trees and plants are responsible for saving about 870 lives every year. Moreover, it prevents 670,000 incidences of acute respiratory symptoms and cut down the cases of related diseases.
The study was conducted by the researchers of United States Forest Service and collaborators.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, this is first of its kind of study to broadly show the estimate of air pollution removal by trees.
For the study, the researchers analyzed four pollutants including ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and less than 2.5 microns of particulate matter in aerodynamic diameter. These are key pollutants which are considered to check the standards for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) air quality.
Findings of the study: Key highlights
- About one percent of air pollution is removed by trees from the environment. Experts say this make a big difference.
- Trees cut down air pollution by about USD 7 billion every year.
- Researchers say as the rural areas have more greenery, pollution removal is significantly higher there in comparison to urban regions.
- Cities which have average greenery derive more health benefits from trees.
Michael T Rains, director of Forest Products Laboratory and Northern Research Station of Forest Service, said, “With more than 80 percent of Americans living in urban area, this research underscores how truly essential urban forests are to people across the nation.”
Rain further said, “Information and tools developed by Forest Service research are contributing to communities valuing and managing the 138 million acres of trees and forests that grace the nation’s cities, towns and communities.”
Air pollution has severe health effects. Many cardiovascular diseases are caused by the pollutants. We can suffer from problems in the cardiac, vascular, pulmonary and neurological systems. In 2005, particulate matter led to about 130,000 deaths and 4,700 deaths were ozone-related.