Breathing polluted air from aviation emissions kills 321 Americans annually and costs the US economy $1.8 billion every year, according to preliminary results of an unfinished scientific study. 

 Ian A. Waitz, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor, unveiled the preliminary findings 15 May at the ICAO Colloquium on Aviation Emissions. Waitz noted that the study is currently being peer-reviewed, and some data may be adjusted in published form.

 The US Federal Aviation Administration funded the MIT study to help policy-makers make informed decisions on regulating the environmental and health impact of aviation emissions.

 The MIT research team found that aviation emissions contribute a slight amount to the estimated 100,000-300,000 deaths per year in the US caused by air pollution. By isolating pollutants derived from aviation emissions, the research team found that long-term exposure to such toxins leads to 321 cases of premature deaths in the US annually.

 Waitz noted that ground vehicle emissions, by comparison, are blamed for 26,500 premature deaths every year.

 In addition to cases of premature deaths, the aviation emissions each year also cause 129 cases of chronic bronchitis, 405 hospital visits for respiratory and cardiovascular ailments including asthma and 124,505 cases of “minor restricted activity days”.

 The $1.8 billion impact on the economy from aviation emissions is calculated by subtracting the total productivity lost due to health causes.