The energy sector is a major source of air pollution, which has negative impacts on human health around the globe. In this short video from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Dr. Douglas Dockert discusses the impacts of air pollution, highlighting:

  1. how air pollution affects health – with particular references to Harvard’s Six Cities Study on the health impacts of air pollution in urban areas.
  2. the air pollution challenges in developing countries
  3. recent air quality trends

Dockert was the lead author of the ground-breaking Six Cities Study, which is one of the most cited air pollution studies in the world. Published in 1992, this study presented evidence gathered over a 20-year period on the health impacts of air pollution in six cities in the United States. The study concluded that people in cities with cleaner air were living 2-3 years longer than those living in cities with dirtier air.

According to Harvard University, this study was the “first definitive evidence linking air pollution to respiratory and cardiovascular illness and even premature death… [its] findings, which now seem self-evident, would form the basis for Clean Air Act regulations on fine particulate matter in 1997.”