Reductions in particulate air pollution during the 1980s and 1990s led to an average five-month increase in life expectancy in 51 U.S. metropolitan areas, with some of the initially more polluted cities such as Buffalo, N.Y., and Pittsburgh showing a 10-month increase, researchers said Wednesday.
The reductions in pollution accounted for about 15% of a nearly three-year increase in life expectancy during the two decades, said epidemiologist C. Arden Pope III of Brigham Young University, lead author of the study appearing today in the New England Journal of Medicine.
It is well known that particulate air pollution reduces life expectancy, said environmental epidemiologist Joel Schwartz of the Harvard School of Public Health, who was not involved in the study. But public policy makers “are interested in the question of, ‘If I spend the money to reduce pollution, what really happens?’ ” he said.
Well, if common sense would have just told us… oh, it did.
If smoking cigarettes and secondhand smoke are bad — durrrr — maybe having smoke from things other than cigarettes is also bad?
Doesn’t seem to occur to our dimwitted friends, because then they’d have to admit their apartments aren’t just perfect after all.