Study: Pollution Reduction Could Extend Lifespans in Some Major California Cities

The secret to living longer lies, at least in part, in reducing particulate pollution in some of the country’s largest cities. But it’s a difficult task that would require greater emissions controls and extraordinary political will.

A new study conducted by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago looks at just how beneficial it would be to reduce smog and pollution levels to those recommended by the World Health Organization. According to the researchers, Fresno residents could live a year longer than they do now if we could cut the auto and industry pollutants by half. The average Angeleno would live 8 months longer. In Sacramento, life spans could be increased by a quarter of a year.

It’s not a lot — especially compared to India and China, which could see their lifespans rise by 4.3 and 2.9 years respectively. But when it comes to precious life, every little bit counts.

The study pertains to ordinary pollution and does not take into account particulate matter released by natural disasters like California’s recent spate of deadly wildfires.

Read the full analysis here, plus a breakdown from the Fresno Bee


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