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Published September 12, 2017

Guess How Many Years Smog Takes Off Your Life In Northern China

By Ben Cost

Another day, another dismal smog statistic out of airpocalyptic Beijing. According to a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, smog knocks three years off the average lifespan in Northern China compared to their Southern counterpart.

 

Couple this with the fact that pollution is linked to a third of deaths in China, whack it with how many years smoking cuts off your life and it's a wonder people make it past 25 in the capital. The study found that the main causes of smog-induced death were lung cancer and stroke. 

 

Said Michael Greenstone, one of the co-authors of the study, “The higher mortality rates are evident throughout the life cycle. “They are not just among the young and the old, but we see them also among middle-aged people. It [air pollution] is affecting everyone.”

 

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Fortunately, unlike in years past, Beijing's recent measures have done more than simply sweep their smog under the rug when the watchdogs come sniffing about. Beijing's PM2.5 levels have reached their lowest in four years as a result of their campaign to cut down on manufacturing, coal, and the number of vehicles in order to meet the city’s 2017 “clean air” targets.

 

They also plan to eventually replace all diesel and petrol cars with their electric and hybrid counterparts, which sounds like some hippy-dippy pipe dream, but many nations are jumping aboard the "Tesla train." 

 

Related:  28 Chinese Cities Vow To Curb Smog By Huge Margin This Winter