A recent study has likened city air pollution to smoking a pack of cigarettes each day for 29 years. While the effect on our lungs is undoubtedly troubling, we should also be wary of what the air we breathe is doing to the rest of our bodies.
The new study monitored ground-level ozone exposure in 7,000 adults living in cities across the US. Generally, urbanites were exposed to between 10 and 25 parts per billion of ozone, where an increase of three parts per billion equates to smoking an extra pack of cigarettes each day. So, even moving from a low-pollution area into one of the cleaner cities could still increase your risk of respiratory diseases like emphysema – which is more commonly associated with smokers.
The article goes on to highlight the effect this air pollution has on mental wellbeing, education and weight and what differences green spaces can make.
#airpollution How city health effects your health and happiness
Links between urban pollution and respiratory diseases drive most calls to clean our cities’ air. But the effect on our lungs is only one reason to be concerned by city living.