What City Has The Worst Air Quality – Air quality in the United States has worsened over the past three years — and it’s killing people. If the air quality had improved since 2009, in 2016 this trend reversed. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, nearly 10,000 premature deaths have been linked to this rise alone.
As of 2019, more than 141 million Americans live in places with unhealthy air pollution, according to the American Lung Association’s 2019 State of the Air Report. This is significantly more than the 134 million people reported in 2018.
What City Has The Worst Air Quality
24/7 Tempo reviewed the 30 metropolitan areas with the highest levels of air pollution using data from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality Index. It takes into account the amount of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, sulfur dioxide released into the air, as well as the estimated concentration of PM2.5 and PM10, which represent particulate matter less than 2.5 and 10 micrometers in diameter.
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The 24-hour concentration of PM2.5, the most harmful type of air pollution, is considered unhealthy if it rises above 35.4 μg/m3. These fine particles are created when fuel is burned – car engines, factories, home heating – or chemicals. reactions that take place in the atmosphere.
According to experts, there are three main reasons for worsening air pollution in the United States: a booming economy, an increase in wildfires and the lax enforcement of clean air regulations.
Another harmful type of pollution is ground level ozone. It occurs when pollutants from cars, power plants, industrial boilers and other sources react with sunlight. The hotter the days, the higher the level of ozone pollution.
Air pollution from either fine particles or ozone can have serious health consequences. These range from effects such as asthma attacks from short-term exposure to pollutants to heart disease and lung cancer from long-term exposure.
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Poor air quality isn’t just a problem in the US. An estimated 90% of the world’s population breathes dangerously polluted air – these are the 30 most polluted cities on Earth.
To find out the most polluted places in America, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the EPA’s Air Quality Index (AQI) for Basic Statistical Areas (CBSAs), also known as metro/micropolitan statistical areas. EPA calculated the AQI for each CBSA daily using monitored criteria gases (carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and sulfur dioxide) and estimated concentrations of PM2.5 and PM10, which represent particulate matter smaller than 2.5 and 10 micrometers in diameter. The number of days for which the AQI was calculated for each CBSA, the percentage of good, moderate, unhealthy, and hazardous days in each CBSA, and the days with criteria for hazardous levels of gases came from the EPA report. Total population data comes from the American Community Survey 2017 5-Year Estimates.
24/7 Wall Street is USA TODAY’s content partner for financial news and commentary. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY. The American Lung Association’s annual state of the air report warns that 141 million people breathe polluted air
The American Lung Association warns that nearly half of Americans, a whopping 141 million people, are breathing hazardous air, according to its 2019 State of the Air Report. That’s an increase of more than 7.2 million people from last year, with eight cities reporting their highest number of dangerous ozone days and particularly high levels of pollution since air quality was first measured 20 years ago. They were:
Which Cities Have The Best And Worst Air Quality?
The country also recorded more days when air quality was considered hazardous and reached emergency conditions than ever before.
The State of the Air report analyzed ozone and particle pollution data by metropolitan area for 2015, 2016 and 2017, collected from states, counties, cities, tribes and federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency. Those three years were the hottest in global history, and the report explained that such changing climate patterns could lead to increased ozone pollution, or smog, from wildfires (in 2018, California had the deadliest wildfire on record — and that data wasn’t even included in this report). And this hazardous air quality is dangerous to vulnerable populations such as children, older adults and people with lung disease.
The report also noted that the Trump administration’s rollbacks of clean water, air and land regulations and budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency have also reversed progress on cleaning up the air.
“The 20th annual State of the Air report shows clear evidence of a disturbing trend in our air quality after years of success: Air quality is deteriorating in many parts of the United States, at least in part due to wildfires and wildfires. weather patterns driven by climate change,” American Lung Association President and CEO Harold Wimmer said in a statement.
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He added, “This increase in unhealthy air is eye-opening and points to the reality that the nation must do more to protect the public from serious, even life-threatening, harm. There is no clearer sign that we are facing new challenges than the levels of air pollution that have shattered the past 20 records for the year, and the fact that we had more days than ever before when monitored air quality reached dangerous levels for anyone to breathe.
The report defines pollutants as particulate pollution, or unhealthy particles found in the air from wildfires, wood-burning equipment, coal-fired power plants and diesel engines. These microscopic pollutants can penetrate deep into the lungs and enter the bloodstream, which can cause lung cancer and trigger asthma attacks, heart attacks and strokes. The following cities experienced the most short-term pollution over a 24-hour period.
But more than 20.5 million Americans live in areas with year-round exposure to hazardous particulate pollution, often from agriculture, power plants and industrial sources, as well as wildfires.
Finally, about 134 million Americans lived in areas with too many days of high ozone pollution. This refers to the smog, which when inhaled can cause shortness of breath and cause coughing fits and asthma attacks, as well as shortening life. It is often caused and aggravated by warming.
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Only six cities qualified for clean status, which includes having no days with high ozone or high particulate pollution, as well as being among the 25 cities with the lowest year-round specific pollution levels from 2015 to 2017. While closures during the COVID-19 pandemic have brought a host of challenges, there have been several positive outcomes. In addition to limiting the spread of the virus, the closures have resulted in improved air quality due to reduced business and car traffic. But the lifting of the closures and the recent increase in wildfires in the West and mountain states could quickly reverse that trend, leaving millions of Americans once again exposed to poor air quality.
Before COVID-19, nearly one in four Americans lived in counties with poor air quality, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Although ozone-related pollutants are the most common cause of poor air quality, many Americans are also exposed to many other common pollutants, such as particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, and lead.
Although many Americans still live in places with unhealthy air pollution, conditions have improved in recent decades. Thanks to the efforts of the EPA and the passage of the Clean Air Act, air quality in the United States has gradually improved and emissions of common pollutants have decreased since 1970. CO2 emissions have also decreased slightly since 2010. Such improvements have occurred even with sustained increases in gross domestic product, travel, total population, and energy consumption.
However, air quality in many areas, especially in the western United States, does not meet national standards. In addition to environmental problems, poor air quality can have negative consequences for human health, which can be particularly harmful for those who already suffer from certain health problems such as asthma and cardiovascular disease. In addition, new research shows that economically disadvantaged communities are more likely to be exposed to higher levels of pollution. What’s more, while the US as a whole has improved, the most polluted areas from 1980 are still some of the most polluted today.
The Worst U.s. States For Air Quality
To identify metropolitan areas with the worst (and best) air quality, researchers analyzed the average values of the Air Quality Index (AQI) for 2019. These values, published annually by the EPA, are a measure of air pollution in an area. Higher AQI values indicate that an area has higher levels of pollution and lower air quality.
For this report, only metropolitan areas with a population of at least 500,000 were included. Here are the metropolitan areas with the worst (and best) air quality in the country.
Regularly changing home air filters can significantly improve the air quality in your home. If you are dealing with particularly challenging conditions, consider using MERV 13 air filters.
The data used in this analysis comes from the EPA’s 2019 Air Quality Index report. The Air Quality Index (AQI) is the EPA’s method of reporting daily air quality by location, based on national ambient air quality standards. Higher AQI values correspond to higher pollution levels and poorer air quality. AQI values below 50 are
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