As many 150 million Americans, that is around half of the USA population breathes polluted air, says a report by the American Lung Association (ALA). The level of pollutants in the air is so high that it is dangerous for breathing.
Despite best of efforts, unhealthy air remains a threat to the lives and health of millions of people in the United States. Air pollution lingers as a pervasive and hazardous truth even as some seek to weaken the Clean Air Act, the public health law that has driven the cuts in pollution since 1970.
For particle pollution, the report examines fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in two different ways: averaged year-round (annual average) and over short-term levels (24-hour). For both ozone and short-term particle pollution, the analysis used a weighted average number of days that allowed recognition of places with higher levels of pollution. For the year-round particle pollution rankings, the report used averages calculated and reported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. For comparison, the State of the Air 2010 report covered data from 2006, 2007 and 2008.
Some facts about rising pollution in USA:
- Roughly half the people (50.3%) in the United States live in counties that have unhealthy levels of either ozone or particle pollution.
- Nearly half the people in the United States (48.2%) live in areas with unhealthy levels of ozone.
- Nearly one in five (19.8%) people in the United States live in an area with unhealthy short-term levels of particle pollution.
- Over 18.5 million people (6%) in the United States live in an area with unhealthy year-round levels of particle pollution.
- Roughly one in 17 people—more than 18.5 million in the United States—live in 10 counties with unhealthy levels of all three: ozone and short-term and year-round particle pollution.
(Source: STATE OF THE AIR, 2011)
Read about 10 most polluted cities in USA: http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-204_162-10007553-3.html?tag=page;previous