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Air Pollution From Fossil Fuels Could Cut Lifespans by 2 to 5 Years

The same policies that tackle climate change could add years back to our lives, a new analysis finds. 

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CO2 Levels Hit Record High

From gas-guzzling cars to power generation, fossil fuel combustion is a leading cause of climate change. But that’s not the only reason to rein in emissions. Fossil fuels are also a leading direct source of air pollution, a health risk that can take years off of human lives. 

The smallest, most dangerous type of particulate air pollution, known as PM2.5, is on track to cost the average person 2.2 years. For people in the most polluted places, the cost would be far more, according to the annual Air Quality Life Index report published Wednesday.