Life Expectancy of PM2.5 and Unassociated Causes/Risks of Death, Global

 


Measured in terms of life expectancy, particulate pollution is consistently the world’s greatest risk to human health. While particulate pollution is set to reduce global average life expectancy by 2.2 years (relative to a world that met the WHO guideline), first-hand cigarette smoke, for instance, reduces global life expectancy by about 1.9 years. Alcohol use reduces life expectancy by 8 months; unsafe water and sanitation, 7 months; HIV/AIDS, 4 months; malaria, 3 months; and conflict and terrorism, just 9 days. Therefore, the impact of particulate pollution on life expectancy is comparable to that of smoking, more than three times that of alcohol and unsafe water and sanitation, six times that of HIV/AIDS, and 89 times that of conflict and terrorism.

Meanwhile, our investment in tackling air pollution lags far behind the scale of the problem. According to a report by the Clean Air Fund, globally philanthropies invest just $40 million annually. This is in sharp contrast to HIV/AIDS which, after successful efforts instituted over decades, now has a smaller impact on global life expectancy, but still 16 times greater financial support than air pollution. In terms of official international development assistance from governments and international organizations, the chasm is even greater; issues such as HIV/AIDs receive 225 times more funding support than outdoor air pollution ($6.5 billion versus $28.9 million).

Read More

Areas of Focus: Environment
Definition
Environment
Producing and using energy damages people’s health and the environment. EPIC research is quantifying the social costs of energy choices and uncovering policies that help protect health while facilitating growth.
Air Pollution
Definition
Air Pollution
Air pollution from fossil fuel combustion poses a grave threat to human health worldwide. EPIC research is using real-world data to calculate the effects of air pollution on human health...
AQLI
Definition
AQLI
Particulate air pollution is one of the most serious risks to human health globally. To help communicate those risks, the Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) converts particulate air pollution into...