Air Pollution in China Cuts Lifespan of Residents

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China is known for being extremely polluted, but scientists just discovered that the air quality is now affecting the lifespan of many who live there.

Scientists determined that most of the 500 million people living in the country will see their life cut by 5.5 years.

The northern areas of China are the most polluted, having poor air, food, and water quality.

In the study, they also found that there were 55 percent more harmful particulates north of the Huai River than in the south. Scientists are calling the pollution level "extraordinary."

This caused higher instances of heart and lung diseases since the '80s. 

BBC said the reason for higher pollution levels in northern China is because of central planning policies that were made in the '50s.

For instance, one plan called the "free coal" plan includes the government allowing residents of the north to use coal for heating their homes. 

The amount of coal used in northern China is equal to that used by the rest of the world combined. It is hoped that China will implement changes to coal use after learning of the harsh affects it has on the environment. 

Currently, the country's CO2 emissions are continuing to climb, reaching over nine percent in 2011. 

Sources: Inquisitr, BBC