Air pollution

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.

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

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…

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

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.

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

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.


How Climate Change and Air Pollution Affect Kids’ Health

By Tara Law  Photo: Syed Mahamudur Rahman , Getty Images   06/17/22  
A new scientific review article published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows just how dangerous climate-related threats are to children’s health. The researchers analyzed data about the specific effects of a rapidly warming…

Allergies in overdrive as extreme weather drives higher pollen count

By Tracey Lindeman  Photo: Clemens Bilan , EPA   06/13/22  
First, he had the symptoms. Then he saw the yellow fog. A thin layer of gold-coloured dust coated the patio furniture, the patio, his children’s swing set – everything in the garden of Ubaka Ogbogu’s…

Think Car Exhaust Is Bad? Wait ‘Til You Hear About Tire Pollution

By Angely Mercado  Photo: Patrick T. Fallon , Getty Images   06/10/22  
Tests conducted over two years by UK-based consultancy and research firm Emissions Analytics found that car tires produce up to 2,000 times more particle pollution than exhaust does. The tires release more than 1 trillion…

White House climate adviser says misinformation ‘absolutely’ a public health issue

By Zack Budryk   06/09/22  
Asked whether climate misinformation disseminated on social media represents a public health threat, McCarthy responded, “Absolutely,” adding “it’s not just an island, there’s also greenwashing,” referencing the practice of companies or institutions misrepresenting their work…

Opinion: Switching from natural gas to electricity will reduce Colorado’s smog

By Eric Reinhardt   06/09/22  
Seventy percent of Colorado’s homes burn gas for heating. Although burning fossil fuels like gas is the primary cause of the continued heating of the earth’s climate, this figure represents more than just a climate…

As the Great Salt Lake dries up, Utah faces an ‘environmental nuclear bomb’

By Christopher Flavelle  Photo: Bryan Tarnowski   06/07/22  
Climate change and rapid population growth are shrinking the lake, creating a bowl of toxic dust that could poison the air around Salt Lake City.

Block-by-block data shows pollution’s stark toll on people of color

By Darryl Fears  Photo: Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times/Getty Images   05/25/22  
Finding the most polluted places in the San Francisco Bay area is simple, a new air quality analysis shows: Locate places where mostly Black, Latino, Asian and low-income residents live, and pay them a visit.

Air pollution linked to increase risk of death from stroke: study

By Sharon Udasin   05/25/22  
That threat also varies based on the size of the air pollution particles — with those patients who are exposed to the smallest particles and whose stroke was caused by a blood clot incurring the…

Public health expert promotes benefits of electric vehicles

By YCC Team   05/20/22  
“Once I purchased my gently used – which was new to me – electric vehicle, I wanted to tell everybody in my community about how much money this was saving me, as well as talking…

Pollution caused 1 in 6 deaths globally for five years, study says

By Kasha Patel  Photo: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg News   05/17/22  
In 2015, 1 in 6 deaths worldwide stemmed from poor air quality, unsafe water and toxic chemical pollution. That deadly toll — 9 million people each year — has continued unabated through 2019, killing more…

Cutting air pollution from fossil fuels would save 50,000 lives a year, study says

By Steven Mufson  Photo: Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post   05/16/22  
Eliminating air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels would prevent more than 50,000 premature deaths and provide more than $600 billion in health benefits in the United States every year, according to a new study…

Microplastics are in our bodies. How much do they harm us?

By Laura Parker  Photo: Alexander Stein, Getty Images   04/26/22  
A few years ago, as microplastics began turning up in the guts of fish and shellfish, the concern was focused on the safety of seafood. Shellfish were a particular worry, because in their case, unlike…

LA ranks No. 1 in ozone pollution, new report finds

By Jaysha Patel   04/22/22  
1 in ozone pollution, new report finds. The report conducted by the American Lung Association found that the greater Los Angeles area had the worst ozone pollution out of more than 200 areas

American Lung Association’s “State of the Air” reports on Maine’s air quality

By WABI News Desk   04/22/22  
This year’s “State of the Air” report, released by the American Lung Association, finds Maine still has some of the cleanest air in the country. However, some areas saw mixed progress for some of the…

Chicago gets failing grade for ozone air pollution from American Lung Association

By Stacey Baca   04/22/22  
A new report from the American Lung Association gives the Chicago area a failing grade when it comes to some types of air pollution. Officials from the organization said the city ranks in their top…

American Lung Association: NYC’s air quality is improving, but still gets a failing grade

By Rosemary Misdary  Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images   04/21/22  
More than 22.5 million people are breathing bad air across New York City, Newark and its surrounding areas – and just over half are people of color. These conclusions come from the 23rd annual State…

137 million in US live with unhealthy levels of air pollution: American Lung Association

By Sharon Udasin  Photo: Getty Images   04/21/22  
More than 40 percent of the U.S. population — or 137 million people — are living in areas with unhealthy levels of particle pollution or ozone, according to the American Lung Association’s newest “State of…

More than 137 million Americans live in areas with poor air quality, report finds

By Dustin Jones  Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images   04/21/22  
Despite decades of environmental efforts, over 40% of Americans — more than 137 million people — live in cities and states with poor air quality, a new report says. And, in addition to cars and…

Microplastic particles are found deep in human lungs

By Katherine Martinko  Photo: MAXSHOT / Getty Images   04/12/22  
Microplastic particles have been discovered in the lungs of live human patients. A team of researchers from Hull York Medical School and the University of Hull in the United Kingdom has published a study in…

A ‘New Era of Air Pollution’ in the Tropics Could Have a Huge Toll

By Maggie Astor  Photo: Munir Uz Zaman , Getty Images   04/08/22  
Urban air pollution in the tropics is rapidly increasing and will lead to hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths if stronger regulations are not put in place, according to a new study.

‘Superblooms of fungus’: Climate change is making valley fever worse

By Hayley Smith  Photo: Jason Armond , Los Angeles Times   04/04/22  
It was June 2020, and Shirley, a winemaker in Paso Robles, Calif., knew something was terribly wrong. He was going about his daily business when he doubled over with severe abdominal pain and a 103-degree…

Increasing the use of electric cars could improve health outcomes

Replacing gas-powered vehicles with electric vehicles in cities could significantly reduce air pollution–related death and illness, according to John Spengler of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Switching to electric vehicles could save lives, study finds

By Jamie Hailstone  Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images   03/30/22  
Moving to zero-emission vehicles and energy could help prevent up to 110,000 deaths in the United States, according to a new report.

US transition to electric vehicles would save over 100,000 lives by 2050 – study

By Nina Lakhani  Photo: Justin Sullivan   03/30/22  
A speedy nationwide transition to electric vehicles powered by renewable energy would save more than 100,000 American lives and $1.2tn in public health costs over the next three decades, according to a new report.

Air Pollution in American Indian Versus Non–American Indian Communities, 2000–2018

By Maggie Li, Markus Hilpert and Others   03/23/22  
Objectives. To compare fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations in American Indian (AI)-populated with those in non–AI-populated counties over time (2000–2018) in the contiguous United States. Methods. We used a multicriteria approach to classify counties as…

Older Wildfire Smoke Plumes Can Affect Climate

By Emily Dooley   03/23/22  
Aerosols carried in wildfire smoke plumes that are hundreds of hours old can still affect climate, according to a study out of the University of California, Davis.

Science needs data to solve problems. Climate change is making that harder

By Joan Meiners  Photo: Thomas Hawthorne   03/23/22  
Sometimes science becomes too hot to handle. That's what researchers at the University of Arizona found recently when they tried to test a new air pollution monitoring system around Tucson.

EPA Proposes “Good Neighbor” Plan to Cut Smog Across Much of the United States

Following clear Clean Air Act requirements and meeting a court deadline, EPA is proposing a federal plan that would cut pollution from power plants and industrial sources that significantly contribute to unhealthy levels of ground-level…

EPA acts to curb air, water pollution in poor communities

By Matthew Daly  Photo: AP Photo/Gerald Herbert   01/27/22  
The Environmental Protection Agency announced a series of enforcement actions Wednesday to address air pollution, unsafe drinking water and other problems afflicting minority communities in three Gulf Coast states, following a “Journey to Justice” tour…

Ten Million a Year David Wallace-Wells on polluted air

Not​ all deaths are created equal. In February 2020, the world began to panic about the novel coronavirus, which killed 2714 people that month. This made the news. In the same month, around 800,000 people…

Reducing emissions would yield dramatic health benefits by 2030

By Roberto Molar Candanosa  Photo: bhumann34/pixabay   11/30/21  
Air quality improvements resulting from a worldwide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would benefit human health and prevent economic losses, according to new research by scientists from NASA, Duke University, and Columbia University.

Climate Change is World’s Most Pressing Health Problem: WHO

By Robert Preidt and Robin Foster   10/12/21  
Climate change is the "single biggest health threat facing humanity," and governments must "act with urgency" to tackle the crisis, a World Health Organization (WHO) special report warns.

Wildfire smoke poses serious health hazard. But your indoor air can be kept clean

By Bernard J. Wolfson  Photo: Burak Arik   10/09/21  
The fierce wildfires that broke out across much of the western United States this summer, spreading smoke across hundreds of miles, continue to pose a serious health hazard to millions. More are expected this fall.…

We need to talk about your gas stove, your health and climate change

By Jeff Brady  Photo: Erano Bundoc/Getty Images/EyeEm   10/07/21  
Americans love their gas stoves. It's a romance fueled by a decades-old "cooking with gas" campaign from utilities that includes vintage advertisements, a cringeworthy 1980s rap video and, more recently, social media personalities. The details…

Trouble in the Air

By Bryn Huxley-Reicher   10/05/21  
Every year, millions of Americans are exposed to levels of pollution that American public health groups and international agencies consider unhealthy. Fossil fuels are the largest source of air pollution that comes from human activities.

Climate Change Is The Greatest Threat To Public Health, Top Medical Journals Warn

By Lauren Sommer  Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images   09/07/21  
The rapidly warming climate is the "greatest threat" to global public health, more than 200 medical journals are warning in an unprecedented joint statement that urges world leaders to cut heat-trapping emissions to avoid "catastrophic…

Air pollution is cutting more years from people’s lives than smoking, war or HIV/AIDS

By Sheena McKenzie   09/01/21  
Air pollution is slashing years from billions of people's lives around the world and is a greater threat to life expectancy than smoking, HIV/AIDS or war, a report published Wednesday shows. In countries where air…

Heavy smoke expected to linger above western Montana

Smoke from wildfires across the U.S. West has wafted over large swaths of western Montana on Friday, leading to unhealthy air quality in Missoula and Frenchtown. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality recommends that active…

Air Pollution: Everything You Need to Know

By Jillian Mackenzie and Jeff Turrentine   06/22/21  
Air pollution refers to the release of pollutants into the air—pollutants which are detrimental to human health and the planet as a whole. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), each year air pollution is…

Air Pollution and Climate Change Cost the Average American $2500 Per Year

By Aubrey Patti   06/17/21  
A report from the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) shows that air pollution and climate change cost each American an average of $2,500 per year in health care. The researchers used data from dozens of…

New research finds 1M deaths in 2017 attributable to fossil fuel combustion

By Brandie Jefferson   06/14/21  
An interdisciplinary group of researchers from across the globe has comprehensively examined the sources and health effects of air pollution — not just on a global scale, but also individually for more than 200 countries.

Heat and smog hit low-income communities and people of color hardest, scientists say

By Tik Root  Photo: Cassidy Araiza for The Washington Post   05/25/21  
As the world warms due to climate change, two studies released this week show that heat exposure and related health issues are already having an inordinate impact on people of color and low-income communities.

Is Outdoor Air Pollution Making My Asthma Worse?

By Markham Heid   05/25/21  
Kentucky has long been “coal country.” But that’s changing — and it’s good news for people with asthma. In Louisville, the state’s largest city, several coal-powered industrial plants recently converted to cleaner natural gas. Others…

Climate change impacting health care to the tune of $820B a year

By Veronica Marshall and Jackie Winchester   05/25/21  
Climate change is not just affecting the Earth and our air, it’s now affecting health care. A new report finds the financial impact tops $820 billion in health costs each year, and it could cost…

Children Exposed To Pollution In Utero More Likely To Develop Asthma

By Nexus Media News   05/25/21  
Children whose mothers were exposed to high levels of ultrafine particulate pollution while they were in utero were more likely to develop asthma, new research has found. The study, published in the American Journal of…

Navajo Nation Methane Pollution Rate Double National Average

By Nexus Media   05/11/21  
Methane pollution from oil and gas extraction operations on Navajo Nation lands harms the health of local residents and robs the tribe of critical income, writes Hannah Grover for the New Mexico Political Report. An…

Air pollution from farms leads to 17,900 U.S. deaths per year, study finds

By Sarah Kaplan  Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Bloomberg News   05/10/21  
The smell of hog feces was overwhelming, Elsie Herring said. The breezes that wafted from the hog farm next to her mother’s Duplin County, N.C., home carried hazardous gases: methane, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide.

Reducing methane is crucial for protecting climate and health, and it can pay for itself – so why aren’t more companies doing it?

By Drew Shindell   05/07/21  
Methane, the main ingredient in natural gas, is a larger climate problem than the world anticipates, and cutting its emissions will be crucial to slow global warming, a new United Nations report warns. The greenhouse…

For Americans’ Health, a Dollar of Carbon Emissions Prevented Is Worth a Ton of Cure

By Timothy G. Singer and Frances C. Moore  Photo: Getty Images   04/17/21  
In late February, the Biden administration made a major announcement that has the potential to affect the health of Americans for generations. Notably, it had nothing directly to do with COVID-19 or even health care…

Air pollution: The silent killer called PM2.5 News

Millions of people die prematurely every year from diseases and cancer caused by air pollution. The first line of defence against this carnage is ambient air quality standards. Yet, according to researchers from McGill University,…