Before you do anything else, find out if you live in an air pollution hotspot?

Air Pollution

AIR

CURRENT NEWS

Chicago ranked 2nd for worst air pollution in 2023 among major US cities, global report says

By Adriana Pérez 03/22/24
Chicago ranked second among major U.S. cities with the worst air pollution in 2023, its average annual concentration of dangerous fine particulate matter almost three times global guidelines, according to a recent report. Even as…
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Biden seeks to accelerate the EV transition in biggest climate move yet

By Maxine Joselow 03/20/24
The Biden administration finalized the United States’ toughest limits on planet-warming emissions from passenger cars and light trucks Wednesday, in a controversial bid to accelerate the nation’s halting transition to electric vehicles.
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One Thing Most Countries Have in Common: Unsafe Air

By Delger Erdenesanaa 03/19/24
New research found that fewer than 10 percent of countries and territories met World Health Organization guidelines for particulate matter pollution last year....
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Nearly Half the States Sue E.P.A. Over New Limits on Deadly Pollution

By Lisa Friedman 03/06/24
The state lawsuits are led by Republican attorneys general and argue that the E.P.A. overstepped its authority last month when it lowered the annual limits for fine particulate matter to nine micrograms per cubic meter…
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We Cannot Fast from Clean Air

By Huda Alkaff 03/01/24
During Ramadan, Muslims ideally sacrifice some of their own comfort while focusing on compassion, mercy and charitable giving to the hungry, thirsty, poor and disadvantaged. However, while one can fast from food and water for…
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Air pollution tied to signs of Alzheimer’s in brain tissue, study finds

By Amudalat Ajasa 02/23/24
People who inhale higher concentrations of tiny airborne particulates, like from diesel exhaust or other traffic-related air pollutants, are more likely to have signs of Alzheimer’s disease in their brains, according to a new study,…
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Switching to electric vehicles could prevent millions of illnesses in US children by 2050, report estimates

By Jen Christensen 02/21/24
Hundreds of infants’ lives would be saved and millions of children would breathe easier across the US if the nation’s power grid depended on clean energy and more drivers made the switch to zero-emission vehicles,…
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8 states move to ban utilities from using customer money for lobbying

By Akielly Hu 02/21/24
When households in the United States pay their gas and electric bills, they’re paying for energy, the wires and pipelines it takes to get that energy into their home, and the costs of maintaining that…
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Fortune 500 oil giant to pay $4 million for air pollution at New Mexico and Texas facilities

By Minnah Arshad 02/13/24
A Fortune 500 oil and natural gas company will pay $4 million in civil penalties for unlawful air pollution in New Mexico and Texas, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.
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Wildfire Smoke Will Worsen, New Study Shows, and Protections Are Few

By Christopher Flavelle 02/12/24
More than 125 million Americans will be exposed to unhealthy levels of air pollution by the middle of the century, largely because of increased smoke from wildfires, according to estimates released on Monday.
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Faith leaders call new EPA soot limit a win for vulnerable communities

By Brian Roewe 02/09/24
The first update to national air quality standards in a decade represents an important step for public health and environmental justice, one that will save thousands of lives each year, said Catholic and religious leaders…
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Biden Administration Toughens Limits on Deadly Air Pollution

By Lisa Friedman 02/07/24
The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday tightened limits on fine industrial particles, one of the most common and deadliest forms of air pollution, for the first time in a decade.
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KEY RESOURCES

Atrocious Air

02/12/24
Since the middle of the last century, the United States has witnessed significant changes in air quality, driven by industrialization, technological advancements, regulatory measures, and public awareness. The most important of these interventions was the…

Wildfire Smoke: Nationwide Health Risk

10/04/23
Wildfires in 2023: record-breaking, devastating, and smoky.

Wildfire Smoke

06/12/23
Wildfire smoke is a mix of gases and fine particles from burning vegetation, building materials, and other materials. Wildfire smoke can make anyone sick. Even someone who is healthy can get sick if there is…

Seasonal allergies: pollen and mold

03/01/23
About one-quarter of adults (26%) and 19% of children in the U.S. suffer from seasonal allergies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Seasonal allergies, such as “hay fever,” are allergic reactions caused…

Air pollution

06/13/22
Air pollution is contamination of the indoor or outdoor environment by any chemical, physical or biological agent that modifies the natural characteristics of the atmosphere.

The Most Detailed Map of Cancer-Causing Industrial Air Pollution in the U.S.

11/02/21
ProPublica’s analysis of five years of modeled EPA data identified more than 1,000 toxic hot spots across the country and found that an estimated 250,000 people living in them may be exposed to levels of…

Raising Awareness of the Health Impacts of Coal Plant Pollution

07/30/20
In 2000, 2004 and again in 2010, the Clean Air Task Force issued studies based on a methodology and model created by Abt Associates, U.S EPA’s own health benefits consultant, based on peer-reviewed, published studies…

What is Wildfire Smoke and Can it Make Me Sick?

12/27/13
Wildfire smoke is a mix of gases and fine particles from burning vegetation, building materials, and other materials. Wildfire smoke can make anyone sick. Even someone who is healthy can get sick if there is…

Planting healthy air: Trees, particulate matter pollution and extreme heat

10/31/16
This study from the Nature Conservancy reviews the positive cooling effects of urban trees planting on hot city climates and the quality of their air.

Climate change is making people sick: A U.S. medical report

03/15/17
From rising levels of air pollution to increased water contamination and a widening range for disease-carrying mosquitoes, climate change is making people sick, a coalition of 11 US medical groups said Wednesday.

MORE NEWS

New EPA rule could save 4,200 lives a year. Industry warns it could cost Biden his reelection.

By Maxine Joselow   01/19/24  
The Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to significantly strengthen limits on fine particle matter, one of the nation’s most widespread deadly air pollutants, even as industry groups warn that the standard could erase manufacturing jobs…
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Deaths From Coal Pollution Have Dropped, but Emissions May be Twice as Deadly

By Cara Buckley   11/23/23  
Coal, the dirtiest of fossil fuels, is far more harmful to human health than previously thought, according to a new report, which found that coal emissions are associated with double the mortality risk compared with…
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Pollution from coal power plants contributes to far more deaths than scientists realized, study shows

By Lucas Henneman   11/23/23  
Air pollution particles from coal-fired power plants are more harmful to human health than many experts realized, and it’s more than twice as likely to contribute to premature deaths as air pollution particles from other…
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When science showed in the 1970s that gas stoves produced harmful indoor air pollution, the industry reached for tobacco’s PR playbook

By Jonathan Levy   11/03/23  
In 1976, beloved chef, cookbook author and television personality Julia Child returned to WGBH-TV’s studios in Boston for a new cooking show, “Julia Child & Company,” following her hit series “The French Chef.” Viewers probably…
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Immediate Methane Cuts Can Prevent Nearly a Million Premature Deaths, IEA Says

By Aaron Clark   10/11/23  
Immediate and targeted methane cuts from the fossil fuel industry could prevent nearly 1 million premature deaths due to ozone exposure by midcentury, the International Energy Agency said in a report released Wednesday. The reductions…
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Improving US air quality, equitably

By Mark Dwortzan   09/27/23  
Decarbonization of national economies will be key to achieving global net-zero emissions by 2050, a major stepping stone to the Paris Agreement’s long-term goal of keeping global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius (and ideally…
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Wildfire smoke is eroding decades of air quality improvements, study finds

By Joshua Partlow   09/20/23  
In more than a half century since the Clean Air Act was enacted, there have been dramatic improvements in air quality in the United States, as regulations demanding less-polluting cars and factories helped lift cities…
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Using A.I. to Track Air Pollution From Open-Top Coal Trains

By Emma Foehringer Merchant   09/05/23  
In a sloping backyard in Vallejo, California, Nicholas Spada adjusted a piece of equipment that looked like a cross between a tripod, a briefcase and a weather vane. The sleek machine, now positioned near a…
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Wildfire Smoke Linked to Asthma Attack Spikes in the US

By Cailley LaPara   08/24/23  
Smoke from Canadian wildfires that blanketed US cities this spring and summer were linked to spikes in emergency department visits for asthma in New York and other regions of the .....
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Air Pollution Can Increase Risk Of Dementia, Study Suggests

By Molly Bohannon   08/14/23  
People living in parts of the United States with high levels of air pollution—especially in areas where pollution stems from agriculture and wildfires—have a greater risk of developing dementia, a study released Monday found, the…
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Study warns of link between air pollution, antibiotic-resistant pathogens

By Kelsey Ables   08/09/23  
Worsening air pollution and increased resistance to antibiotics are two of the world’s most urgent public health concerns, contributing to millions of premature deaths per year — and a new study suggests they might be…
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Air pollution

08/07/23  
Air pollution emissions have declined in the last two decades, resulting in better air quality. Despite this improvement, air pollution remains the largest environmental health risk in Europe. Exposure to fine particulate matter and nitrogen…
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ER visits for heart problems plummeted after Pittsburgh coal processor shut down

By Kristina Marusic   08/07/23  
The closure of one of Pittsburgh’s largest coal-processing plants in 2016 led to a lasting reduction in hazardous air pollution and a decrease in heart-related hospital visits, according to a new study.
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EPA rejects Suncor’s air-pollution permit for second time, demands Colorado regulators make changes

By Noelle Phillips   08/01/23  
In a rare move, the Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday that it objects to one of Suncor Energy’s new air-quality permits and sent it back to Colorado environmental regulators to make changes that would further…
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Environmental Groups File Notice of Appeal as Fight to Keep Virginia in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Continues

By lowkell   08/01/23  
Two months after Virginia’s Air Pollution Control Board voted to remove the state from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), environmental groups are working to stop this from happening.
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Virginians Will Pay the Costs of Gov Youngkin’s Misguided Efforts to Exit the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

By Mandy Warner   07/31/23  
Today, Governor Glenn Youngkin proceeded with his efforts through executive order to remove Virginia from the 12-state program to cap carbon pollution known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, by approving the Virginia…
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Electric trucks could reduce air pollution, improve health

By EHN Staff   07/31/23  
The Yale Climate Connections team writes about environmental justice advocates who are calling for a zero-emission freight transportation system.
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Pollution from fossil fuel combustion deadlier than previously thought

07/24/23  
A new study found that fine particulate pollution generated by the burning of fossil fuels was responsible for one in five early deaths worldwide in 2018—far more than previously thought. Harvard T.H. Chan School of…
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Signature Biden Program Won’t Fix Racial Gap in Air Quality, Study Suggests

By Delger Erdenesanaa   07/20/23  
A new analysis has found that the White House’s signature environmental justice program may not shrink racial disparities in who breathes the most polluted air, in part because of efforts to ensure that it could…
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People understand air pollution if not climate change

By Abe Novick   07/17/23  
In any effort to get people to change their behavior, words and phrases matter. Attaching a motivating name to an issue can be the clarion call to action. This brings me to the editorial, “It’s…
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US air quality today: AQI maps show Chicago, Detroit among cities impacted by wildfire smoke

By Gabe Hauari   07/17/23  
Poor air quality has returned in large portions of the country and is expected to linger through the early portion of the week, according to the National Weather Service. Smoke from Canadian wildfires is projected…
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It’s Time to Include Smoke in Weather Forecasts

By Neel Dhanesha   07/17/23  
Canadian wildfire smoke is returning to the United States this week, triggering air quality alerts around the country. But when I open up my weather app and check the weather conditions in some of the…
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Fossil fuel workers are dying inhaling gases – despite US warnings to big oil

By Sara Sneath   07/13/23  
After multiple worker fatalities, the US government warned manual gauging was dangerous. The oil industry seems to have not taken note, activists say...
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Air pollution: The invisible health threat

By Maria Neira   07/12/23  
Each day, as we take a breath, an invisible storm of particles and molecules infiltrates our bodies, posing a threat not only to our lungs. Yet, have you ever truly pondered the significance of clean…
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How Biden’s environmental justice dilemma is playing out in Port Arthur

By James Osborne   07/09/23  
John Beard spent almost 40 years working in the refineries and petrochemical plants that surround his home in Port Arthur. But after an accident at the Valero refinery in Port Arthur in 2007 released large…
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Climate Change Causing Dangerous NYC Air Quality (Again)

07/06/23  
This morning, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation issued an air quality alert for the NYC Metro area – not caused by Canadian wildfires or Fourth of July fireworks, but by pollution from power plants…
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Gas industry knew about indoor pollution from stoves 50 years ago, investigation reveals

By Lottie Limb   07/03/23  
The American Gas Association was aware about health concerns in the early 1970s, rediscovered documents show. The gas industry has known that its stoves could be harmful to human health for more than 50 years,…
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Long Island air quality: Unhealthy smoke conditions could return on Thursday

By Nicholas Spangler   06/27/23  
Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday warned that smoke rolling down from Canadian wildfires could bring unhealthy air conditions to much of the state by Thursday, and the state’s top environmental official said that the haze…
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A new satellite could help clean up the air in America’s most polluted neighborhoods

By Seyma Bayram and Rebecca Hersher   06/19/23  
David Jones dusts his house in the Curtis Bay neighborhood of Baltimore almost daily. He rarely opens his windows, even when the weather is beautiful, because the outdoor air makes him feel sick.
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The new war on bad air

By Emily Anthes   06/17/23  
In January 1912, in the depths of a New York City winter, an unusual new apartment complex opened on the Upper East Side.The East River Homes were designed to help poor families fend off tuberculosis,…
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Railroad industry sues to block new locomotive pollution rules in California

By Adam Beam and Josh Funk   06/17/23  
The railroad industry on Friday sued to block new environmental rules in California, arguing they would force the premature retirement of about 25,000 diesel-powered locomotives across the country long before their zero-emission counterparts are ready…
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Study Compares Gas Stove Pollution to Second-Hand Smoke

By Hiroko Tabuchi   06/17/23  
Cooking on a gas stove can emit a higher level of carcinogenic benzene than what’s seen in second-hand cigarette smoke, with the pollution spreading throughout the home and lingering long after the stove is switched…
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Aerosols: Small Particles with Big Climate Effects

By Karin Kirk   06/12/23  
We often think of aerosols as spray paint, insect repellant, or similar substances sprayed from a can. But aerosols are actually small particles or droplets that float in the air, and it turns out these…
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Aerosols: Small Particles with Big Climate Effects

By Karin Kirk   06/12/23  
We often think of aerosols as spray paint, insect repellant, or similar substances sprayed from a can. But aerosols are actually small particles or droplets that float in the air, and it turns out these…
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‘The fire equivalent of an ice age’: Humanity enters a new era of fire

By Shannon Osaka, Michael E. Miller and Beatriz Ríos   06/10/23  
When the sky over New York City turned a thick, silty orange on Wednesday, 8 million residents woke up in a new era. Until this week, the East Coast had remained cocooned, thousands of miles…
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How Canada’s wildfires and air quality warnings are connected to climate change

By Ginger Zee and others   06/08/23  
Wildfires burning in Canada have prompted hazardous air pollution conditions in the U.S. this week, as smoke moves South and lingers over much of the Northeast.
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The toll of smoke

By Somini Sengupta   06/08/23  
New York City used to have deadly smog. Pittsburgh had bad air. Also Los Angeles. It got a lot better. Until it didn’t. Wildfire smoke has reversed the gains this country made in cleaning up…
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Air quality hits hazardous levels Wednesday from Canadian wildfire smoke

By Andrew Jeong, Victoria Bisset and Others   06/07/23  
Smoke and haze from the wildfires ravaging Canadian forests probably will continue to blanket buildings and residents in the Northeast, the Ohio Valley and the Mid-Atlantic. Air quality alerts remain in effect in major cities…
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Wildfire Masking Is Just Different

By Katherine J. Wu   06/07/23  
Late last night, New Yorkers were served a public-health recommendation with a huge helping of déjà vu: “If you are an older adult or have heart or breathing problems and need to be outside,” city…
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N95 Masks Helped Protect Against the Coronavirus. They Also Work Against Wildfire Smoke

By Claire Moses   06/07/23  
As smoke from wildfires in Canada drifts over large parts of the United States, the best thing to do to prevent breathing in pollutants on Wednesday is to stay indoors. For many people, of course,…
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Wildfire Smoke Smoky Air Disrupts Life in the Northeast

By Liam Stack and Others   06/07/23  
A plume of Canadian wildfire smoke rapidly darkened the skies over New York City and around the Northeast on Wednesday, making the air dangerous to breathe and disrupting life across the region.
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As Smoke Darkens the Sky, the Future Becomes Clear

By David Wallace-Wells   06/07/23  
My father, who died of lung cancer, used to say that as soon as people inhaled their first cigarette, they immediately knew, if they weren’t in denial, that they were harming themselves. I felt the…
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Trying to Breathe in a City of Smoke

By Carolyn Kormann   06/07/23  
hen the smoke comes, you notice it in your body before you see it in the air. On Monday evening, I went for a run and then felt queasy and lethargic. Only on Tuesday did…
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We Can See Clearly Now

By Bill MCKibben   06/07/23  
I live in Vermont, where the scent of woodsmoke on a late fall afternoon is an iconic smell. It’s not like that here today—it’s more like sitting on the side of the campfire where the…
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Climate Coach from The Washington Post

By Michael J. Coren   05/18/23  
Every day, we burn about half a million gallons of leaded gasoline in the United States.
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There’s no escape from wildfire smoke

By David Wallace-Wells   05/17/23  
In Western Canada, fire season comes early by American standards — beginning, usually, right around now. In Alberta, by today’s date, only about 1,000 acres have burned in recent years. This season so far, the…
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EPA says pollution limits proposed for U.S. coal, gas power plants reflect climate crisis ‘urgency’

By Matthew Daly   05/11/23  
The Biden administration proposed new limits Thursday on greenhouse gas emissions from coal- and gas-fired power plants, its most ambitious effort yet to roll back planet-warming pollution from the nation’s second-largest contributor to climate change.
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Where air pollution is improving — and where it’s worsening

By Alex Fitzpatrick and Kavya Beheraj   04/27/23  
Air quality, as measured by fine particle pollution, improved across much of the country between 2015 and 2021, though it worsened across several Western states and Florida.
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Climate Change Is Rolling Back American Progress on Air Pollution

By Ciara Nugent   04/20/23  
Climate change is transforming air pollution in the U.S., driving an increase in hazardous high-pollution days in Western states., even as environmental regulations help to clean up traditional sources of contaminants nationally. That’s the picture…
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Biden Administration to Curb Toxic Pollutants From Chemical Plants

By Coral Davenport and Lisa Friedman   04/07/23  
The rule would chiefly affect plants along the Gulf Coast, the Ohio River Valley and in West Virginia....
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