(CNN) – Long-term exposure to air pollution has health effects similar to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for many years.
That’s according to research published Tuesday in the medical journal JAMA.
The study spanned 10 years and is considered one of the largest of its kind.
Researchers looked at more than 7,000 adults in six metropolitan areas in the U.S.
They linked several pollutants in the air, including ozone and black carbon, to the development of emphysema.
The chronic lung disease shrinks the amount of oxygen that reaches your bloodstream. It’s usually associated with cigarette smoking.