Tuesday, 20 November, 2018
International - 24 August, 2018

Air pollution reduces life expectancy in humans: Study

A study stated that air pollution can reduce life expectancy in humans, depending on where a person lives and what are the levels of pollution in that place...

Inquest News

A study stated that air pollution can reduce life expectancy in humans, depending on where a person lives and what are the levels of pollution in that place.

Researchers from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom came together to study that how air pollution affects the length of a person's life. The study was published in Environmental Science and Technology.

As a part of the study, scientists used 2016 country data from Global Burden of Disease project. It is a first that a study is looking into how air pollution affects life expectancy of a person.

The study looks into how particulate matter induced pollution impacts life expectancy in people. Fine particulate matter is referred to extremely tiny pieces of pollution which are smaller than 2.5 micrometers - this is 30 times smaller than the width of one human hair.

Particulate matter which causes air pollution can be very harmful for health. In a previous study, it was found that air pollution can affect cardiovascular health of a person.

The impact of air pollution can varies from country to country. Every population has a different baseline health level. In the study, as many as 42 countries experienced reduced life expectancy by one year or more because of air pollution.

For instance, in the US, air pollution can cut down around 0.38 years from someone's life. Similarly, in countries with higher levels of pollution such as Bangladesh, around 1.87 years of people's lives could be reduced.

There are some countries with comparatively low impact of air pollution like Sweden, Australia and New Zealand. The ones with highest levels of air pollution include Niger, Egypt and Bangladesh.

Scientists also studied how reducing amount of air pollution by 10 micrograms per cubic meter of air could be beneficial for people of each country. This recommendation has been given by the World Health Organization.

Countries like the US and Canada have already met these standards. But the recommendations are ideally for countries which have pollution levels higher than the US and Canada.

There is a need towards collective effort of countries and organisations for reducing air pollution. Given the health hazards of air pollution, it has now become imperative to do something about it at the earliest.

(With inputs from agencies)

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