Policy Impacts

How Have Air Pollution Policies Extended Lives?

● Throughout history, countries all over the world have experienced intense air pollution during periods of rapid industrialization. These countries have largely been successful in confronting their pollution challenge thanks to a demand for change from their citizens and subsequent strong policies. The AQLI provides a metric to determine the benefits of these policies in terms of extended lives.

United States: Clean Air Act (1970)

With 64.9% less pollution, Americans are living healthier, longer lives.

Reductions in particulate air pollution alone, thanks in large part to the Clean Air Act, have added 1.4 years to the life expectancy of the average American since 1970.

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China: National Air Quality Action Plan (2013)

China’s Announcement of War Against Pollution in 2014 Has since Cut Particulate Pollution by 39.8%

In 2021, after eight years of fighting a “War against Pollution,” China has seen remarkable progress in reducing pollution and it is winning its war. If these improvements are sustained, and the pollution is further brought down to the levels prescribed by WHO, people in China could see their average life expectancy increase by 2 years.

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Mexico City: ProAire (1990)

“Pollution is down 60.4%since 1990 in the city once renamed “Makesicko City.”

The ProAire policies have allowed residents to live 3.3 years longer.

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Pollution Facts

Learn more about particulate pollution...

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About AQLI

Learn more about the AQLI...

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