U.S. environmental epidemiology Clive Arden Pope III, the lead author in the study, helped to determine that the average life expectancy of people living within these major metropolitan cities within the United States increased by almost three years during the past few decades.
Clean air contributed to an increase of five months of that longer life of these lucky people.
Dr. Pope, who is associated with Brigham Young University, stated, “Such a significant increase in life expectancy attributable to reducing air pollution is remarkable. We find that we're getting a substantial return on our investments in improving our air quality. Not only are we getting cleaner air that improves our environment, but it is improving our public health." [BYU News: "BYU-Harvard SPH study shows that Americans owe five months of their lives to cleaner air"]
The results of their study was published in the January 23, 2009 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.
The title of the article is “Fine-Particulate Air Pollution and Life Expectancy in the United States.” Besides Pope, its other authors are Majid Ezzati, and Douglas W. Dockery.
They began their article by saying, “Exposure to fine-particulate air pollution has been associated with increased morbidity and mortality, suggesting that sustained reductions in pollution exposure should result in improved life expectancy.”
And added, “This study directly evaluated the changes in life expectancy associated with differential changes in fine particulate air pollution that occurred in the United States during the 1980s and 1990s.”
Page two defines fine particulate matter, along with providing comments from the Brigham Young University article discussing this study and comments from the authors themselves.