• Air quality in major cities 'could shorten life span'

Air Monitoring

Air quality in major cities 'could shorten life span'

Apr 15 2009

Research carried out over the last thirty years has concluded that the air quality in major cities can significantly shorten the lives of those who live in them.

Undertaken by a team at Harvard University's School of Public Health, the research found a correlation between air quality and life spans in the US.

Though other aspects of people's lives, such as diet and healthcare have improved since then, the report determined that bad air quality can shorten an individual's life by up to 15 per cent.

Dr Douglas Dockery, head of the Environmental Health Department at the school, said that "we would be talking about several years. Three to four years - a significant change in how long you live for", the BBC reports.

He added that if the issue was examined in developing countries' major cities, such as Beijing or Mexico City, the rates could be even higher.

In January, Dr Arden Pope of Brigham Young University stated that improving air quality in major cities is provides "a substantial return on investments" when it comes to health benefits.

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