Improvements in US air quality linked to longer life spans, say researchers
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that Americans are living longer because the air they breathe is getting cleaner, and people who lived in metropolitan areas that did the best job of reducing fine particle pollution in the air showed the biggest jump in life span. Fine particle pollution has been implicated as being responsible for deaths from cardiovascular and respiratory causes. This epidemiologic study examined the change in fine particle pollution in 51 U.S. metropolitan areas between the late 1970s and the late 1990s. The study concludes that “A reduction in exposure to ambient fine-particulate air pollution contributed to significant and measurable improvements in life expectancy in the United States.” Click here for an interactive graphic which shows how air quality related to life expectancy in 51 metropolitan areas.