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Cleaner air: Americans can look forward to 5 more months

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According to a new study conducted by Brigham Young University and Harvard School of Public Health, the average life expectancy in 51 U.S. cities increased nearly 3 years over recent decades. 5 months of that increase is due to cleaner air.

Researchers found that in cities that had previously dealt with the highest levels of pollution and had been cleaned up the most in recent years another 5 months were added to the average citizen’s life. The research also observed gains in life expectancy even in cities that initially had relatively clean air but had further improvements in air quality, suggesting the continuing benefits to ongoing efforts to reduce air pollution.

Poor air quality is linked to heart and lung disease.  Some studies also show there is a link between poor air quality and asthma.

What can we do in Philadelphia and other cities to improve air quality?
Here’s a few ideas:
• Add/upgrade infrastructure for walking and bicycling (more sidewalks, bike lanes and trails; working bike racks; pedestrian signs in addition to street signs for car drivers; benches, drinking fountains and parks) Mayor Nutter has made some headway in Philadelphia

• Insulate your own home or business to reduce the need for costly heating and air conditioning
• Ask your city council, neighbors and friends to plant more trees. They look nice, filter air and h20, raise property values, provide fresh fruit, and keep us cool during warm spring and summer months.
• Increase the density and diversity of downtown buildings.

Go here for more info on BYU’s study

Posted by Beth

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Beth is a Health and Wellness expert who believes sustainability goes hand-in-hand with self care. She’s the girl whipping up kombucha cocktails at parties, and extolling the benefits of canning vegetables to anyone who will listen. View all posts by Beth Funari

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