Living near an oil refinery increases the risk of stroke

(ORDO NEWS) — The researchers found that living near an oil refinery was responsible for 5.6% of strokes in open areas.

A new study from scientists in the southern United States has found that living near an oil refinery is associated with an increased risk of stroke.

It has also become clear that this problem overwhelmingly affects poorer people, mainly because they are forced to live in areas closer to fossil fuel refineries.

Scientists from Yale University, Brown University and Seoul National University studied the number of strokes in adults and their relationship between oil refineries in seven southern US states: Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma.

After accounting for other factors that can affect people’s health, they found that living within 5 kilometers of an oil refinery significantly increases the risk of stroke. Living near oil refineries was found to account for an average of 5.6 percent of strokes in open areas.

“Geographic concentration of economic sectors and their associated by-products is an understudied likely risk factor for stroke.

By-products of oil extraction and refining include a mixture of pollutants that can affect the quality of surrounding air, soil and drinking water in residential areas,” said lead author Honghyuk Kim.

The researchers did not specifically try to understand why this relationship occurs in this study. However, there is plenty of compelling evidence for how refineries can affect cerebrovascular health.

For example, it is clear that air pollution from refineries is associated with pollutants that are involved in the pathogenesis of stroke, including particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and volatile organic compounds.

Areas around oil refineries are also more likely to be contaminated with hydrocarbons, grease, ammonia and other nasty residues in water and soil.

This is likely to have many health implications. Previous studies have shown that living near an oil refinery was associated with a significantly increased risk of cancer diagnosis.

Public health is affected not only by oil refineries. Just last month, a separate US study found that living near a hydraulic fracturing site is associated with an increased risk of childhood leukemia.

All in all, this is another reminder that the production of fossil fuels is not only damaging to the environment, but is also damaging to the health of people around the world.


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