Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Clean Air Act - People Live 5 Months Longer!

There was an interesting and important pollution study published in the New England Journal of Medicine a few months ago. According to researchers C. Arden Pope III, Majid Ezzati, and Douglas W. Dockery:
On the basis of the average reduction in the PM2.5 concentration . . . in the metropolitan areas included in this analysis . . . the average increase in life expectancy attributable to the reduced levels of air pollution was approximately 0.4 year. . . . [T]hese results suggest that the individual effect of reductions in air pollution on life expectancy was as much as 15% of the overall increase. (p. 384)

Thanks to the regulations authorized under the Clean Air Act, the average person lives roughly five months longer. This doesn’t mean, of course, that the benefits outweigh the $27 billion costs. But the results are interesting nonetheless.

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