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Our Air is Cleaner in Some Places, but Not Everywhere

It's especially bad around SCHOOLS! - Despite our best efforts, we sometimes still pollute, but our air IS getting cleaner. A new study shows that average life expectancy in 51 US cities increased nearly three years over recent decades, and approximately five months of that increase is thanks to cleaner air?that's GOOD news. But another study reveals that air pollution is dangerously high around schools that are located near some US industrial plants?that's BAD!

Epidemiologist Arden Pope says, "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." In the cities he studied that had previously been the most polluted and cleaned up the most, the cleaner air added approximately 10 months to the average resident's life.

His team?s research also observed gains in life expectancy even in cities that initially had relatively clean air but had further improvements in air quality, suggesting the continuing benefits to ongoing efforts to reduce air pollution.

Another study, conducted by USA Today reporters, examined air pollution levels near schools around the US over an eight month period. Researchers found high levels of toxins in the air near schools in the path of industrial pollution. Most of the affected schools were located on the East Coast and in the Midwest with the largest numbers in states like Illinois, New York, Louisiana and West Virginia. In many cases, toxin levels were much higher than those considered safe by the Environmental Protection Agency. In some cases, the pollution was high enough to cause concern for long term adverse health effects.

Art credit: gimp-savvy.com

How did Whitley learn so much about the future? Find out who first alerted Whitley to the facts about global warming, which he then wrote about in a book which became the hit film The Day After Tomorrow.

To learn more, click here and here.

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