Tiny particles of air pollution from power plants, vehicles, and other sources are causing notable rises in hospital visits and deaths among elderly Americans, according to a new study by scientists from Johns Hopkins University and the Harvard School of Public Health. The study, which examined data from the nation’s 90 largest metropolitan areas, found that just a small rise in particulate pollution caused a 2 percent to 4 percent increase in hospitalization of the elderly and a 1 percent increase in their death rate. The study comes out as the EPA is making a big push to clean up diesel engines and diesel fuel, major sources of particulate pollution.