The Relationship Between Monthly Air Pollution and Violent Crime Across the United States
Recent evidence suggests a relationship between short-term pollution exposure and crime, with a particular emphasis on aggressive behavior. The study estimates the effect of fine particulate air pollution (PM 2.5) exposure on crime across 99% of counties in the contiguous United States. The findings are consistent with previous research and suggest that increases in PM 2.5 raise
violent crime rates, and specifically assaults. The results indicate the effect is relatively homogeneous across the U.S. However, the effect is positively correlated with county median
age, suggesting older populations are more susceptible to changes in air pollution. The results indicate a need for more research on the physiological and social mechanisms behind the
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