Californians, their health insurers and the government spent nearly $200 million on hospital care for air-pollution-related admissions between 2005 and 2007 that could have been avoided if the state met federal clean air standards, according to a new study from the Rand Institute. Using hospital admissions data and air pollution records, the Rand researchers found an estimated 29,000 emergency room visits and hospital admissions that could have been prevented. Of the hospital visits considered preventable, about three-quarters were attributed to the presence of fine particulate matter in the air, known as PM 2.5. The rest were related to levels of ozone in the air. See the full study here.
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