Continuing declines in air pollution are linked to increasing life expectancy, a national study has found.
From 2000 to 2007, air pollution, as measured in concentrations of particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, has continued to decrease, although not as rapidly as in the 1980s and ?90s. But even the slower rate of decrease is apparently lengthening life expectancy.
The study, published online last week in the journal Epidemiology, used data from 545 counties nationwide, both metropolitan and rural, and found an average decrease of 1.56 micrograms per cubic meter in particulate pollution over the eight years. At the same time, life expectancy increased an average of 0.84 years.