By Sean Reilly
On average, exposure to particulate pollution will carve almost two years off human life expectancy, compared with what it would be if the planet fully met the World Health Organization guideline, according to theanalysis released today.
That figure has changed little over two decades. While the peril posed by COVID-19 deserves all the attention it is receiving, “embracing the seriousness of air pollution with a similar vigor would allow billions of people around the world to lead longer and healthier lives,” Michael Greenstone, an economist who co-authored the report and runs the university’s Energy Policy Institute, said in a statement.
Southeast Asia continues to bear a particularly heavy burden, the numbers indicate. Bangladesh is the single most polluted country in the world, while Singapore residents would live almost 3 ½ years longer if the nation’s air met the guideline, the report says.