China’s pollution reduces life span by 5.5 years


China News

Air pollution causes people in northern China to live an average of 5.5 years shorter than their southern counterparts, according to a study released on Monday which claims to show in unprecedented detail the link between air pollution and life expectancy.

High levels of air pollution in northern China – much of it caused by an over-reliance on burning coal for heat – will cause 500 million people to lose an aggregate 2.5 billion years from their lives, the authors predict in the study, published in the journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The geographic disparity can be traced back to China’sHuai River policy which, since it was implemented between 1950 and 1980, has granted free wintertime heating to people living north of the Huai river, a widely-acknowledged dividing line between northern and southern China. Much of that heating comes from the combustion of…

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