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Surprising Science

Air Pollution Shortens Lives

Air pollution is shortening life expectancy in Europe, causing asthma among children and chronic bronchitis and heart disease among over-65s. It is also costing a fortune.

Air pollution is not just a problem in Los Angeles. A European study finds it is shortening the lives of our friends across the pond. “‘The figures show that, despite the various countermeasures, air pollution is still a major issue for public health in Europe,’ said Sylvia Medina, who is a study co-ordinator and an epidemiologist. The researchers calculated the potential gain in life expectancy if fine-particle pollution was reduced to 10 micrograms per cubic metre as an annual average, which is the target set by the World Health Organisation. Fine particles go deep into our bodies, affecting our heart and lungs.”


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