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What's in the air can age you

Created date

August 22nd, 2014

The age on your driver’s license may not necessarily reflect the age of your body. Some people who are 80 years old look 80, while some look 65. Scientists think they know one reason why.

Certain chemicals in the environment seem to accelerate the biological age of your cells. These substances include tobacco smoke, UV radiation, and benzene-containing compounds such as automotive exhaust and pollution from factories.

The amount of exposure you’ve had to these types of chemicals throughout your life could affect how quickly your body ages. Experts say tobacco smoke could be the worst offender as it is associated with age-related conditions such as heart disease, vascular disease, lung problems, and certain cancers. 

Scientists are studying the effects of these chemicals on mice and believe more knowledge about how they affect humans on a cellular level could lead to better treatments for age-related diseases and developments of new anti-aging strategies.