Air Pollution Persists as Health Threat


Posted on July 13, 2016, 6 a.m. in



166 million Americans are at risk from the health effects of unhealthy air.

More than half of the people in the United States live in counties that have unhealthy levels of either ozone or particle pollution. The American Lung Association’s “State of the Air 2016” report also warns that 166 million Americans live with unhealthful levels of air pollution, putting them at risk for premature death and other serious health effects such as lung cancer, cardiovascular damage, asthma attacks, and developmental and reproductive harm. “Thanks to cleaner power plants and cleaner vehicles, we see a continued reduction of ozone and year-round particle pollution in the 2016 ‘State of the Air’ report. However, climate change has increased the challenges to protecting public health,” said Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association. “There are still nearly 20 million people in the United States that live with unhealthful levels of all three measures of air pollution the report tracks: ozone, short-term and year-round particle pollution.”

“Everyone has the right to breathe healthy air, yet only four cities—Burlington-South Burlington, Vt.; Elmira-Corning, N.Y.; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Salinas, Calif.—qualified for the ‘cleanest cities’ list in the “State of the Air’ report,” said WImmer. “We simply must do more to protect the health of Americans.”


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