A study has found that air pollution shortens human lives by more than a year. It focused on outdoor air pollution from particulate matter (PM) smaller than 2.5 microns. These fine particles can enter deep into the lungs and increase risk of heart attacks, strokes, respiratory diseases and cancer.
This is the first time that data on air pollution and lifespan has been studied together in order to observe the global disparities in how they affect overall life expectancy. A team of leading environmental engineers and public health researchers from the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin studied the PM2.5 pollution that comes from power plants, cars and trucks, fires, agriculture and industrial emissions. Better air quality could lead to a significant extension of lifespans around the world.