137 Million Americans live in areas with poor air quality

More than 137 million Americans are exposed to unhealthy levels of air pollution, and communities of color are more likely to live in areas with unhealthy air, says a new report released Thursday.


The American Lung Association's 23rd annual State of the Air report also found that the number of Americans affected by potentially deadly particulate pollution was nearly 9 million more than the number of those mentioned in last year's report.


Since 2000, the association has analyzed data from official air quality regulators to produce the State of the Air Report, which tracks and ranks Americans' exposure to unhealthy levels of short-term spikes in particulate pollution, annual particulate pollution and Earth's surface ozone air pollution over a period of time. Three years. This year's report covers the period 2018-2020.


The association said the long-term improvement in the country's air quality has been partially dampened by the negative effects of hotter and drier conditions caused by climate change, and wildfires in the western United States have led to a sharp rise in particulate pollution in many states.
"The 'State of the Air 2022' report shows that an unacceptable number of Americans continue to live in areas with poor air quality that can affect their health," Harold Wemmer, the association's national president and CEO, said in a press release.


"The report found that people of color were 61 percent more likely than white people to live in a county with a failure score of at least one pollutant, and 3.6 times more likely to live in a county with a failure score for all three pollutants," he noted.


The recently released report also revealed that California cities dominated the list of the most polluted areas in the country, as the state contains four of the five largest ozone-polluting cities, four of the five largest polluted cities due to particulate pollution in the short term, and all five most polluted cities due to pollution particles throughout the year. 

 

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