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Forest linked to human health

posted Jun 10, 2013, 5:00 AM by
A recent study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine correlates a significant rise in deaths to a massive loss of ash trees from the invasive emerald ash-borer.  Read an informative news item about the study here.

It is well known that forest is the best land-use for the health of our waterways. Forest filters and cools
rainwater running off roads, rooftops, and parking lots even as it it slows the flow toward streams.  (See Land-use under the Our Issues tab.)

It is also well known that trees filter pollutants from the air.

This study now links in dramatic fashion the benefits of forestland to human health. It followed the death rate in areas experiencing a massive loss of ash trees due to an invasive insect, the emerald ash-borer, and found ten percent rise in the death rate from cardiovascular and lower respiratory diseases.

Unfortunately, this insect now occurs in Maryland, and is spreading fast. It joins many other invasives spread by global commerce that threaten our forests. But let us not forget that we ourselves are destroying the woods. The Chesapeake Bay loses 100 acres of forest every day to development!