Think America's air is clean? Think again. According to a new Harvard study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, our legal air could be lethal. Especially for older Americans.
Using computer models researchers found ozone and fine particulate matter by zip code. Then they assessed the risk of premature death for Americans 65 and up.
For instance, 5 micrograms of fine particulate matter per cubic meter of air increases the risk of senior deaths. But, the legal limit is 12 micrograms. Similarly, if ozone is at 30 parts per billion the risk of death spiked, but the EPA limit is currently 70 parts per billion.
Lead author Francesca Dominici says, "We are now providing bullet-proof evidence that we are breathing harmful air. Our air is contaminated."
On the bright side, at least you know what to get grandpa for his birthday this year.