China could raise average life expectancy by 2.9 years if it improves air quality to levels recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO), according a new study from a U.S. research group.
China has vowed to determine the precise impact of air and water pollution on health as part of its efforts to raise average life expectancy to 79 years by 2030 from 76.3 years in 2015.
According to the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC), big air quality improvements made in the last five years have already been enough to push up average lifespans.
“China is winning its war against pollution … (The country) is due to see dramatic improvements in the overall health of its people, including longer lifespans, if these improvements are sustained,” EPIC director Michael Greenstone said at an event in Beijing on Thursday.
According to the EPIC’s findings, air quality improvements made in the smog-prone northern city of Tianjin over the last five years are already expected to have raised the average lifespan of its 13 million residents by 1.2 years.
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