If you live in northern China, you can expect pollution to cut more than three years of your life, a new study has revealed.

Chinese woman in face mask 
Source: Global Panorama

Those residing north of the Huai River, where pollution levels are 46 percent higher than in the south, live on average 3.1 years fewer, according to air quality data from 154 Chinese cities between 1981 and 2012.

Those in Beijing could apparently live an extra 6.4 years if pollution levels met international standards, while people living even farther north in Harbin would get almost seven years more living done.

Last year, a report by Nanjing University concluded that a third of deaths in the northern Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region was caused by smog.

The new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week, is a collaboration between scientists from China, the US and Israel.

Most of the pollution in the north is caused by the burning of coal to warm houses in the cold autumn and winter months.

The increase in pollution leads to a higher prevalence of fatal illnesses such as strokes and lung cancer.

In the past, the Chinese government supplied free coal to households.

However, the raising concern about the hazardous smog has prompted the government to begin replacing coal-fired heaters with electric or gas units.

And as grim as it still is up north, things do seem to be gradually improving.

In 2013, a similar study suggested the difference between life expectancy in the north and the south of China was 5.5 years. 

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Keywords: China smog life expectancy China pollution life expectancy

2 Comments Add your comment



Perhaps the difference between the South and North is because the South is getting more polluted? :o

Sep 17, 2017 21:56 Report Abuse



Wear a mask!

Dec 10, 2017 12:23 Report Abuse