We can’t always see the consequences of air pollution around us, but it’s taking years off our lives.

According to a new Air Quality Life Index report from the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC), air pollution is taking 2.2 years off the average global life expectancy.

In some of the most polluted regions in the world, residents are expected to lose an average five years of their lives, if the current high levels of pollution persist.

While smog seem like a difficult problem to tackle, some countries have proven it’s possible to clean up the air. In the past seven years, China has reduced air pollution as much as the United States has in the past three decades. And since India’s Gujarat state launched the world’s first clean air market in 2019, they’ve been successful in cutting particulate pollution by at least 20%.

In this episode of the Big Brains podcast, EPIC’s Air Quality Programs Director Christa Hasenkopf and EPIC’s South Asia Director Anant Sudarshan  talk about why we need to treat air pollution as a global health threat and what we can do about it.

Read the full article about air pollution at Futurity.