Even As Air Pollution Drops, Communities of Color in the U.S. Still Breathe Dirtier Air

Even As Air Pollution Drops, Communities of Color in the U.S. Still Breathe Dirtier Air

Although absolute disparities in terms of exposure to air pollution have fallen, relative disparities remain a new study published this week in Science showed. What they found, in the words of Emily Holden in The Guardian, was that “wealthy white Americans are still getting to breathe cleaner air than lower-income communities of color, despite significant nationwide reductions in pollution since the 1980s.”

Why This Matters: We see time and time again how intimately intertwined environmental justice is with racial justice. It is not enough that the absolute disparity of air pollution has fallen.

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New Study Shows People In Areas With Bad Air Pollution Are More Likely to Die

New Study Shows People In Areas With Bad Air Pollution Are More Likely to Die

Harvard researchers looked at the death rates for people who have had long term exposure to high levels of soot pollution (particulate matter or PM that comes from coal plants and older cars) and found they are higher than the death rates for people who lived in areas with cleaner air. 

Why This Matters:  This study should be raised every time the Republicans (or anyone) says that a stimulus measure tied to reducing air pollution is unrelated to recovery from COVID-19.  That is just flat out wrong.  Long term exposure to air pollution by its victims makes this virus more deadly.

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New Report Finds One-Third of Americans Breathe Dirty Air At Least 3 Months A Year

New Report Finds One-Third of Americans Breathe Dirty Air At Least 3 Months A Year

In 2018, nearly 110 million Americans lived in areas with air quality that was unhealthy for more than 100 days of the year, according to a new report published on Tuesday by Environment America Research & Policy Center, USPIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group.

Why This Matters:  Dirty air negatively impacts’ people’s health and even their life expectancy — as we have often reported here in Our Daily Planet, and air quality in the U.S. is not good enough, despite what the current administration may try to claim.

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American Lung Association: Forty Percent of the U.S. Breaths Unhealthy Air

American Lung Association: Forty Percent of the U.S. Breaths Unhealthy Air

The American Lung Association issued their 2019 “State of the Air” Report which found that more than 40% of Americans — 141 million — live in a county with unhealthy air, which represents an increase of 7 million people more than last year.   Despite some progress, “in 2015-2017, more cities had high days of ozone and […]

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US Air Pollution Causes More Than 100,000 Premature Deaths

US Air Pollution Causes More Than 100,000 Premature Deaths

A new study by the National Academies of Science published on Monday concluded that in 2011, the finest scale particulate matter air pollution (PM2.5)  caused 107,000 premature deaths in the U.S. and cost the economy nearly $900 million dollars.  The study’s authors, using data from the Environmental Protection Agency, calculated location-specific estimates of the damage […]

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