991 research outputs found

    Aerosol exposure versus aerosol cooling of climate: what is the optimal emission reduction strategy for human health?

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    Particles, climate change, and health have thought-provoking interactions. Air pollution is one of the largest environmental problems concerning human health. On the other hand, aerosol particles can have a cooling effect on climate and a reduction of those emissions may result in an increased temperature globally, which in turn may have negative health effects. The objective of this work was to investigate the "total health effects" of aerosol emissions, which include both exposure to particles and consequences for climate change initiated by particles. As a case study the "total health effect" from ship emissions was derived by subtracting the number of deaths caused by exposure with the estimated number of lives saved from the cooling effect of the emissions. The analysis showed that, with current level of scientific understanding, it could not be determined whether ship emissions are negative or positive for human health on a short time scale. This first attempt to approximate the combined effect of particle emissions on health shows that reductions of particulate air pollution will in some cases (black carbon) have win-win effects on health and climate, but sometimes also cause a shift from particle exposure-related health effects towards an increasing risk of health consequences from climate change. Thus, measures to reduce aerosol emissions have to be coupled with climate change mitigation actions to achieve a full health benefit on a global level

    Prospective Memory Performance in Simulated Air Traffic Control: Robust to Interruptions but Impaired by Retention Interval

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    OBJECTIVE: To examine the effects of interruptions and retention interval on prospective memory for deferred tasks in simulated air traffic control. BACKGROUND: In many safety-critical environments, operators need to remember to perform a deferred task, which requires prospective memory. Laboratory experiments suggest that extended prospective memory retention intervals, and interruptions in those retention intervals, could impair prospective memory performance. METHOD: Participants managed a simulated air traffic control sector. Participants were sometimes instructed to perform a deferred handoff task, requiring them to deviate from a routine procedure. We manipulated whether an interruption occurred during the prospective memory retention interval or not, the length of the retention interval (37-117 s), and the temporal proximity of the interruption to deferred task encoding and execution. We also measured performance on ongoing tasks. RESULTS: Increasing retention intervals (37-117 s) decreased the probability of remembering to perform the deferred task. Costs to ongoing conflict detection accuracy and routine handoff speed were observed when a prospective memory intention had to be maintained. Interruptions did not affect individuals' speed or accuracy on the deferred task. CONCLUSION: Longer retention intervals increase risk of prospective memory error and of ongoing task performance being impaired by cognitive load; however, prospective memory can be robust to effects of interruptions when the task environment provides cuing and offloading. APPLICATION: To support operators in performing complex and dynamic tasks, prospective memory demands should be reduced, and the retention interval of deferred tasks should be kept as short as possible