Pollution Shortens Lives

It is interesting that humans go through so much trouble to extend lives through medical procedures. We are saving lives in one area, while taking life in another. Pollution is severely impacting the environment we live in. It seems we have forgotten that this environment is what sustains us. Scientists are starting to take at look at the extent of this environmental damage. What they found is stunning.

Life Expectancy

In average areas life expectancy is estimated to be shortened by about one year. In heavily polluted areas, such as Africa and Asia, the amount of time is one and a half years.  Death and illness patterns are often studied; however, life expectancy has been somewhat in the background. The good news is that lives can be lengthened by sticking to the World Health Organizations plans for reducing pollution. Even in India, the most polluted country in the world, the possibility living well past 80 years old could be a reality.

The Causes

There are different pollution factors that are causing life expectancy complications. These vary in different geographic regions. These are things like cancers, unsanitary water, diet risks, and air pollution. Fine particulate matter is of the most interest at present. Particulate matter outweighed several other health complications in a large amount of countries. In higher income countries, however, cancer shows ass the leading factor in shortened life-spans. These illnesses cut life short an average of 3.5 years. It is possible, however, that many of these cancers are caused by pollution in our air and contaminated foods.

Particulate Matter

Particulate matter in many parts of the world can be an issue, even for the healthier environments. Particulate matter can travel around the world. Dust clouds are a one mode of transportation that allows particulate to cross oceans. The World Health Organization helps countries determine what they need to do to control different health complications. Particulate matter inhalation is considered minimally damaging when it is stays under ten micrograms per cubic meter. There are still health risks below this threshold, but this small changed can add months to the life expectancy.

Life expectancy has become an important topic in the scientific community. There is a lot of focus on health risks from pollution, yet the details of how it effects the length of life has not been considered much before now. Researchers even can tell what pollutants are causing the most problems in different geographical areas. People get concerned when they are told they may not live as long. This realization may get the people more motivated to comply with the World Health Organization Standards.


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