Sit down, science has some bad news.
Turns out the thing you're breathing right now is killing you softly. We’re not being alarmist, it’s literally taking years away from your life!
Just how many depends on where you live (Hint: if you live in China, it’s a lot more than Canada), but no one is spared.
In a peer-reviewed study published this week, scientists from the US, Israel and China examined pollution data in 154 Chinese cities from 1982 to 2012 and compared it with mortality data covering 78 million people from 2004 to 2012. To the surprise of no one with the ability to breathe, they found a strong link between reduced life expectancy and air pollution.
The scientists concluded life expectancy is reduced by about seven months with every additional 10µg/m³ of PM10 (a form of particulate matter that can lodge deep in lungs and cause respiratory disease) in the air. A metric they used to develop the Air Quality-Life Index (AQLI), which measures how much longer people would live if the local air quality met the WHO standard for another fine particulate.
According to the AQLI, even in developed countries like the US, lifespans are being shortened -- New York by one month, Los Angeles by eight.
So how many seasons of Game of Thrones will you never get to binge? The researchers put together this handy map for your frightened perusing pleasure.