It’s just true that good hygiene involves taking a shower when we get dirty. Other than that, there is really nothing more relaxing for me than to have a good dip in the tub. However, there are things that do affect our overall health that we’re not always able to keep clean. In fact, getting more of this clean stuff will eventually mean having a longer lifespan. And that thing we’re dealing with is none other than clean air.
Yep! It’s a fact.
If you breathe more clean air then you get to live longer. Makes you want to get rid of that bad breath of air, don’t you? That’s what the Harvard School of Public Health found out in a study they conducted. They compared the average lifespan of residents in cities with air pollution problems with other cities that have cleaner air. They found out that you can add a minimum of five months to the average lifespan if you breathe cleaner air.
Douglas Dockery, an environmental epidemiology professor comments that such gains are dramatic. It is interesting that by a simple reduction of fine particles that are most hazardous to human health, the overall life expectancy of a certain populace can be improved. City governments with federal regulations limiting the amount of fine particles, thus gaining better air quality, understand that it outweighs any costs compared to the health benefits their citizens gain. This is actually a win/win situation in the long run.
This is nothing more than just a demonstration that the general public is the general winner when laws that mitigate air pollution are passed. When there are no laws that regulate fine particle pollution then one should expect the life expectancies of the general populace to be in a decline.
I asked the same question myself and kept digging. Particulate matter or fine particles are made up of a mixture of liquid droplets and solid particles that are about 10 micrometers or less. The most hazardous to humans are only about 2.5 microns. They are usually described as acid water droplets and are usually microscopic. They’re the particles that actually make that brown-like yellow color in smog.
Anyway, particulate matter is produced naturally. However, we human beings can produce amounts of it in exponentially greater amounts than what nature usually produces. Humans produce particulate matter via car and industrial emissions.
The other human sources of particulate matter include lawnmowers, barbecues, coal powered generators, using oil based cleansers and paints, and the use of pesticides.
The Need to Pass Air Pollution Laws
Well, at this point we all should know that there is indeed a political aspect to get cleaner air. Of course, the other things like better healthcare, better diets, and healthier lifestyles are just as important. But note that every base should be covered in order to really get the really air cleaned out. Check your city’s regulations on air pollution and see if they square with getting you cleaner air.
Other than passing laws that are necessary to ensure cleaner air, it should be noted that we too have our own responsibility with regard to this issue. There are a lot of simple things we can do, like carpooling for instance, to prevent air pollution and the production of particulate matter. Other than ensuring that the right laws are passed we must also do our share to get cleaner air. Remember, better air quality means longer life expectancy.
If you’re interested in the findings of the Harvard School of Public Health you may read them here: harvardmagazine.com/2009/05/clean-air-longer-life.