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Pollution and blood clots

Particles may pose risk at levels present in many U.S. cities

5:11pm, May 12, 2008

Air pollution dramatically boosts an individual’s risk of developing deep vein thrombosis, a new study indicates. People with DVT typically develop clots in the leg or thigh. If those clots break off and travel, especially to the lungs, organ damage or death may follow.

The new study focused on exposure to airborne particles 10 micrometers and smaller, known as PM10. Created largely as part of combustion exhaust, these particles are so small that they can be inhaled deeply into the lungs.

“We were surprised at the magnitude of the relative risk” associated with this pollution, says Joel Schwartz of the Harvard School of Public Hea

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