Does Air Pollution Really Shorten Life Spans?

Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Dr. Indur M. Goklany

Periodically we are flooded with reports of air pollution episodes in various developing countries, and claims of their staggering death toll, and consequent reductions in life spans. The Economic Times (India), for example, recently claimed:

If you are in NCR [National Capital Region, i.e. Delhi] right now, you may have a shorter lifespan

Nov 09, 2017, 05.11 PM IST

Can’t breathe

With pollution levels in NCR 40 times the World Health Organization’s safe limit, your life expectancy could be cut short…

Killing you softly

The US embassy website said levels of the fine pollutants known as PM2.5 that are most harmful to health reached 703 — well over double the threshold of 300 that authorities class as hazardous. PM2.5 are particles with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less and a study recently found that a 10 µg/m3 (per cubic meter of air)…

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