Coal pollution in China shortens life spans by 5 and a half...

Coal pollution in China shortens life spans by 5 and a half years

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The Asian country of China has been constantly dealing with pollution problems. A recent study has revealed that heavy air pollution from coal burning is linked to shorter lives in the country. It has been estimated by researchers that half-billion people alive there in the 90s will live an average of 5 and a half years less than their southern counterparts as they inhaled more polluted air.

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Researchers have found crucial differences between particle pollution of the air and life expectancy in the two regions and added that the results could be used to extrapolate the effects of such a pollution on life spans anywhere else in the world. Earlier studies have also revealed that pollution has adverse effects on human health.

One of the authors of the research, Michael Greenstone – a professor of environmental economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology – said, “The deeper and ultimately more important question is the impact on life expectancy”. Moreover, the policy provided free coal for fuel boilers to heat homes and offices to cities north of the Huai River, which divides China into north and south.

Researchers have collected data from 90 cities, from 1981 to 2000, on the annual daily average concentration of total of suspended particulars.