Energy & Environment

One-third of Americans experienced poor air quality due to pollution in 2018: study

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About one-third of the U.S. population was living in areas that experienced at least 100 days of poor air quality due to air pollution in 2018, a new study has found. 

That year, 108 million Americans lived in areas where ground-level ozone or particulate pollution was above the level that the Environmental Protection Agency says presents “little to no risk,” according to a report from the Environment America Research and Policy Center. 

The report, which was released Tuesday, said that the most populous areas with more than 100 days of elevated air pollution include the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim and Chicago-Naperville-Elgin areas. 

It also said that several other metropolitan areas such as the New York-Newark-Jersey City area and the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria areas had between 31 and 100 days of elevated air pollution. 

“Each year, millions of Americans suffer from adverse health impacts linked to air pollution, and tens of thousands have their lives cut short,” the report said. 

It recommended that policymakers strengthen air quality protections, reduce reliance on fossil fuels and cut global warming pollution. 

“No one should have to experience one day of polluted air — let alone 100 days a year, ” Environment America President Ed Johnson said in a statement. “Air quality will only get worse as our climate warms, so we have no time to lose. It’s time to clear the air.” 

Tags Air quality Pollution
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