We’re living 30 years longer with chemistry


IUPAC Plenary Four & Five, Tuesday 9:45am

Colin Berry, QML London

Sir Colin Berry will say that modern synthetic chemicals have contributed to giving each of us an extra 30 years of mostly healthy, active life.

He says that vaccines, antibiotics, and other modern medicines are, of course, part of the explanation. But pesticides, fertilisers and other agrichemicals that ensure that quality food with cancer-preventing nutrients is inexpensive and widely available have also played an important role.

The numbers? Americans born this year can expect, on average, to live until 2088 (age 78); many will likely make it to 2100 and beyond (over 90 years of age).

A similar person born in 1910, however, would not have been expected to see 1960; very few made it to the 21st century.