Air Pollution Reduces Life Expectancy

It’s far worse than even we have estimated.

Study finds air pollution reduces life expectancy in Utah

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo)

Law makers had loved to call us alarmists when voicing health concerns in regards to the high levels of air pollution along the Wasatch Front, but as more research is done, the danger of air pollution reveals itself to be even more grave than we thought.

The research was released this week by Brigham Young University.

It concluded that air pollution causes “between 2,500 and 8,000 premature deaths each year in Utah, decreasing the median life expectancy by 1.1 to 3.6 years.”

“It was a real eye opener to see quantitative estimates of how serious the health and economic costs of air pollution are for the people of Utah,” said Errigo, who is pursuing a master’s degree in BYU’s department of plant and wildlife sciences. “The consequences of dirty air can seem very abstract until you read the medical research connecting the quality of our environment to our personal health.”

The researchers assigned economic losses to a range between $750 million and $3.3 billion, mostly stemming from health care expenses, crop damage and lost earning potential, in addition to indirect costs such as loss of tourism, decreased growth and regulatory burdens.

Read press coverage from the Salt Lake Tribune here.