Air Pollution Thought To Be The Greatest Risk to Human Health

Air Pollution Thought To Be The Greatest Risk to Human Health

According to data released last summer, air pollution cuts the life expectancy of every person on Earth by nearly two years – making poor air quality a clear front-runner in "the greatest risk to human health" category.” The Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) measures the impact on human health from particulate air pollution -- mainly from the burning of fossil fuels. AQLI’s work has shown that overall air pollution levels have remained stable over the past two decades despite significant reductions in particulate matter from China.

Nearly a quarter of the global population lives in just four south Asian countries that are among the most polluted -- Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan. In some areas within those countries, air pollution has been so severe that it now shaves nearly a decade from average lifespans. And while the United States is relatively better off than those countries, AQLI’s research shows that pollution still takes an average of two years off life expectancy here too. Not to mention that a number of studies have shown that air pollution is also a key COVID-19 risk factor.

Those of us that live in the tri-state area are no stranger to this risk. Coal-fired power plants dot the Ohio River from tip to tail. Indoor air purification can help, but robust public policy that emphasizes and enforces particulate capture and emissions minimization are our best bets to mitigate and reduce the local effects of this public health hazard. In the meantime, if you believe your health or property has been harmed by exposure to coal or other particulate pollution, you should contact an experienced law firm right away to explore your rights.


Air pollution cuts the life expectancy of every person on Earth by nearly two years – making poor air quality a clear front-runner in the greatest risk to human health category.