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Tree and Human Health May Be Linked

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posted on Jan, 17 2013 @ 08:08 AM
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I live in an Ash Borer effected area myself. To me it is unsurprising that our own health may be directly tied to the health of the ecosystem in which we live. At a time when so much of that ecosystem is threatened it is likely important to our future to attempt to recognize and understand these links.


For Geoffrey Donovan, a research forester at the Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station, and his colleagues, the loss of 100 million trees in the eastern and midwestern United States was an unprecedented opportunity to study the impact of a major change in the natural environment on human health. In an analysis of 18 years of data from 1,296 counties in 15 states, researchers found that Americans living in areas infested by the emerald ash borer, a beetle that kills ash trees, suffered from an additional 15,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease and 6,000 more deaths from lower respiratory disease when compared to uninfected areas.

When emerald ash borer comes into a community, city streets lined with ash trees become treeless. The researchers analyzed demographic, human mortality, and forest health data at the county level between 1990 and 2007. The data came from counties in states with at least one confirmed case of the emerald ash borer in 2010. The findings -- which hold true after accounting for the influence of demographic differences, like income, race, and education -- are published in the current issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

There's a natural tendency to see our findings and conclude that, surely, the higher mortality rates are because of some confounding variable, like income or education, and not the loss of trees," said Donovan. "But we saw the same pattern repeated over and over in counties with very different demographic makeups.


Source




posted on Jan, 17 2013 @ 08:17 AM
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reply to post by iforget
 


I always thought that was how it is. I mean they are the oxygen producers.

I get respiratory problems often in city, when i'm in country site(or rather away from city).. where there are large trees near my cottage, its always cool and crispy breeze. Could fall asleep on the porch.



posted on Jan, 17 2013 @ 08:27 AM
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Interesting idea, I think they failed to consider the worst economic conditions in that study. I would also wonder what if any health correlations occurred with the Chestnut tree die offs.

Once beautiful and abundant, the American chestnut tree covered huge tracts of land across the eastern United States for thousands of years until a fungus from Asia decimated virtually every tree standing on North American soil.
www.landscapeimagery.com...

In order to provide a meaning full correlation there would need to be other such comparisons, unless human health is tied to that specific tree?

I love trees and I do believe we are part of our environment, I question this particular researcher's conclusions.



posted on Jan, 17 2013 @ 08:47 AM
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reply to post by luciddream
 


Agreed, here we have some hard evidence of a link now if we could just understand it a little more...




posted on Jan, 17 2013 @ 08:50 AM
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Just a ''note'':
A forest (inside), is mainly dead. Only the tops (of some) of trees and the outside are green and healthy. The inside for the most part, dead wood where there is not enough sunlight.
So basicly, it's better when you chop down allot of trees in a forest for open spaces for a more healthy flora&fauna so the sun can do it's work.
edit on 17-1-2013 by Plugin because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2013 @ 08:57 AM
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reply to post by Iamschist
 


There was more not less correlation found in wealthier areas Here is the PDF of the research article.



posted on Jan, 17 2013 @ 09:05 AM
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reply to post by Plugin
 


I understand what you are saying about the living portion of a tree I cant say I agree with your conclusion. The tree itself is not unhealthy in that a good portion of its mass is not living tissue. A forest has many natural ways to break the canopy open, allow sunlight to the understory and spur new growth. Well cutting trees can be a healthy part of that system I dont think that wholesale deforestation is going to improve the health of the forest



posted on Jan, 17 2013 @ 09:23 AM
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Originally posted by iforget
reply to post by Iamschist
 


There was more not less correlation found in wealthier areas Here is the PDF of the research article.


Again interesting study, more data is needed and the variables such as other stressors to the population during this time period need to be addressed. Also other tree/human mortality statistics, before conclusions can be reached. No one is arguing that trees impact our lives, and that green spaces have a positive effect. Science requires much more definitive data.



posted on Jan, 17 2013 @ 09:28 AM
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reply to post by Iamschist
 


agreed just chatting here no worries





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