Pollution Linked to Decreased Lifespan and Death
Fossil fuels are contributing to global air pollution. Countries like Norway, India, the United Kingdom and France are adjusting their domestic and international environmental policies and banning gas and diesel vehicles. The French took this environmental policy a step further. Their National Assembly passed a resolution to ban any new licenses for oil and gas exploration and extraction in France and all its territories by 2040.
Industrial manufacturing, burning coal, burning wood and fracking all release pollution particles that are strongly linked to illnesses that shorten people’s lifespans globally. A study published in Ecological Indicators found that, on average, an increase in pollution particles in the air of 10 micrograms per cubic meter cuts a person’s life expectancy by 9 to 11 years. The report also revealed cost-benefit analysis associated with air pollution. In the US, the methodology used to calculate was based on the number of lives saved with each life currently estimated to be worth $7.4 million.
In Europe, the methodology focused on life expectancy since most people who die from air pollution-related causes are in their 70s and 80s. The number of years lost is thought to be only one or two. This leads to a much lower cost-estimate. But, difference in the research resulted in a surprising tabulation: the cost of air pollution related to fossil fuels is estimated to be three times higher in the US than the EU.
While some governments are taking the necessary strategies to reduce air pollution, the current American administration has stalled efforts made by previous administrations to overhaul and reverse air pollution. An analysis of 545 counties between 2000 and 2007 found that levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) had declined in the US. A decrease of 10 μg/m in the concentration of PM2.5 increased life expectancy of 0.35 years. This association was stronger in more urban and densely populated counties. Numbers could change if fossil fuel economies thrive. Recently, fracking has been linked to a rise in low-weight babies born in Pennsylvania.
The Ecological Indicators study suggests there’s a way of determining the economic benefit of reducing air pollution. Perhaps this factor may encourage the current administration’s policies to reduce the use of fossil fuels.
Even one of the biggest polluters in the world, China, has reversed course. According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, China is the biggest contributor to poor air quality in the world. About 1.6 million people died of air pollution in China in 2013 alone. It generates dangerously high emissions from burning coal. But China is now investing in clean energy. The Chinese government is set to spend at least $360 billion on clean energy projects and create 13 million new renewable energy jobs by 2020.
In a study from 2016 researchers from the University of British Colombia reported that 5.5 million people are killed annually by poor air quality. Controlling air pollution will have a lasting impact in our quality of life worldwide, the planet’s well-being and our lifespan.
What Can You Do?
You can do things to protect your body from harmful toxins. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants can protect your respiratory system from infections. It’s a more sustainable diet too.
Consider keeping your lungs fit with exercise. Exercise increases your respiratory rate, your heart rate, and pumps oxygen to the heart. These responses create a strong respiratory environment to keep you healthy and living longer. Liposomal glutathione can help you reduce the toxins in your body. It’s one of the detox supplements I recommend to help your body remove harmful toxins as well as optimize the body’s detoxification pathways. Filtering the air in your home or office can also help. My favorite hepa filter by IQ Air.