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Cleaner Air May Be Adding 5 Months to Your Life

Breath easier, live longer. A study published on January 22 in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that Americans are living almost three...
January 29, 2009

Breath easier, live longer. A study published on January 22 in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that Americans are living almost three years longer than they were only 20 years ago, with less polluted air accounting for up to five months of that longevity.  The study looked at 51 metropolitan areas in the USA and more than 200 countries, concluding that all cities got a boost from cleaner air.  Cities have on average reduced their pollution levels by one-third while life expectancy increased by an average of 2.7 years.  The cities with the biggest reduction in pollution, Pittsburgh and Buffalo, also increased the life spans of their residents the most.  The World Health Organization estimates that 1.4 percent of all deaths are a result of air pollution.  The American Cancer Society notes that other factors may have played a role in longer life spans, including new medical practices and laws protecting people from secondhand smoke.

Cleaner Air May Be Adding 5 Months to Your Life (USA Today 1/21/09)