Bad air days are even deadlier than we thought

Photo by Ricardo Funari/Brazil Photos/LightRocket via Getty Images

Worldwide, rising levels of air pollution increase the chances that people will die early, a sweeping new study finds. In Australia, which has historically low levels of air pollution, an increase in sooty air led to a sharp rise in the rate of earlier deaths.

More air pollution means more deaths, even at low levels of air pollution and short exposures to it, according to the study, which measured particulate matter and daily death rates in 652 cities in 24 countries over the course of 30 years. It is the largest international study on the short-term impacts of air pollution on death conducted to date, and was published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

A lot of research already exists on how this kind of pollution makes people…

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