Air Pollution Shortening Life Spans Worldwide: Study

by Paromita Datta published on -

The cumulative effect of air pollution can have a serious effect on our health, shortening life spans. The loss of life expectancy exceeds tobacco smoking. According to a recent study by a German team, ambient air pollution causes significant excess mortality, causing loss of life expectancy (LLE) across the world. Published in the journal Cardiovascular Research, the study was based on data collected from across the world. [1]

A distant view of industrial chimneys with smoke coming out against a setting sun.

Air pollution can have disastrous consequences for our health. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The team used atmospheric data, combining it with health records in their research. They utilized a data-informed atmospheric model to gauge the PM2.5 exposure and ozone pollution. This was compared with a loss of life expectancy and disease-specific excess mortality in 2015. The team also determined the different sources that contribute to air pollution, namely anthropogenic emissions (such as fossil fuel use) and natural sources (such as wildfire).

The team estimated that ambient air pollution caused excess mortality, largely through cardiovascular diseases. The excess mortality caused by ambient air pollution across the world falls ranges between 7.11 and 10.41 million a year. LLE was calculated at an average of 2.9 years. It exceeded tobacco smoking. East Asia and Europe recorded the highest figures in the global mean mortality rate. In terms of elimination, they found that removing fossil fuel emissions the global mean expectancy increased by 1.1 years to 1.7 years. The researchers concluded by terming air pollution as one of the major global health risks we face today. Protection Status
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About the Author

Paromita Datta covers the latest health and wellness trends for Organic Facts. An ex-journalist who specialized in health and entertainment news, Paromita was responsible for managing a health supplement for The New Indian Express, a leading national daily in India. She has completed her post-graduation in Business Administration from the University of Rajasthan and her diploma in journalism from YMCA, Delhi. She has completed an e-course, Introduction to Food and Health, from Stanford University, US.

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