In a confirmation of what many doctors and researchers have suspected for years, a recent study by the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham Young University has shown that decreasing air pollution extends people’s lifespans by an average of about five months. Considering how many people live in heavily polluted areas – and the fact that most of our homes contain high levels of particle pollution – the study is timely and interesting. It also reinforces the many efforts that have been put in place to reduce pollution in general, and highlights why the growing popularity of HEPA air purifiers is so understandable.
About the Study
The study – which involved 51 cities total – was conducted in a very interesting way, over a very long period of time. First, two sets of data were compared: the life expectancy data from counties around participating cities between the years 1979 and 1983, and the same data from between the years 1999 and 2000. In order to make the data as meaningful as possible, the scientists and researchers involved in the study removed unrelated variables like income, education and smoking.
After all of the data was analyzed, the researchers discovered that Americans were living approximately 2.7 years longer in 1999 and 2000 than they were between 1979 and 1983. From that total, about 15 percent could be attributed to the reduction of air pollution and fine particulates in the air. Fine particulates are defined as being ultrafine particles that measure approximately 2.5 micrometers in diameter. In Pittsburgh, for example, fine particle pollution decreased by 14 micrograms per square meter, due largely to the shutdown of many coal plants. People there extended their life expectancy by a whopping 10 months due to the cleaner air they were breathing.
Ultimately, the study revealed that reducing air pollution – and fine particle pollution in particular – provided a five month increase to a person’s overall longevity. The study was also made easier to analyze by the fact that more stringent regulations were put in place near the end of the 1990s. These regulations affected the highest fine particle generating polluters such as car exhaust and coal plants. Based on what the study has revealed, those attempts were not done in vain and it can be safely said that those regulations have improved the quality – and length – of life for many people.
What Does the Study Mean for You?
Whether you live in one of the 51 cities highlighted in the study or not, its implications are quite clear. The air outside is a lot better than it was many years ago, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. More importantly, the study shows what a huge impact polluted air can have on our health – and on our lifespans. Considering that you’ve probably garnered an additional five months of life thanks solely to the stricter regulations imposed during the late 90s, imagine what breathing clean air more often could do.
The fine particulates highlighted in the Harvard/Brigham Young study cause a litany of major health problems. They make existing conditions like allergies and asthma worse. They can get into the bloodstream, causing heart attacks, strokes and other problems over an extended period of time. They affect your health in a very negative way, and can make you feel terrible in general. So, what are you supposed to do about it – other than wait for the government to impose even tighter regulations?
Breathe Clean Air at Home, Extend Your Lifespan
Most of us spend the majority of our time in our homes. Inside, you’d think that you’d be safe from that nasty fine particulate air pollution – but you’re not. In fact, many common household products cause air pollution of their own. The only surefire way to drastically reduce the presence of airborne contaminants in the home is by using a HEPA air purifier. HEPA filter technology coupled with an activated carbon filter will remove up to 99.97% of airborne particulates from the air you breathe. While the activated carbon eliminates odors and harmful airborne VOCs.
If the Harvard/Brigham Young study concerns you, you can take action right away by getting a quality HEPA air purifier. There’s no question that breathing clean air can lead to a longer, more healthy life – so why not do everything you possibly can to improve the air quality in your home. In no time at all, you can start enjoying the benefits of clean air.
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