135 million people in the United States live in counties to unhealthy air pollution levels according to the American Lung Association’s 2021 State of a Air report (ALA). Every year since the Clean Air Act’s first publication in 2000, the findings of the annual report have shown how transportation, power plants, as well as manufacturing have been able to decrease harmful emissions.
Public health challenges are being exacerbated by climate change-fueled wildfires and extreme heat, according to recent findings from researchers. People of colour are 61 times more likely than white humans to survive in a county with such a bad grade in at least one of the three categories of ozone, year-round particulate emissions, or short-term particle pollution, according to the latest report.
Despite significant gains made in the Golden State over the last half-century, California cities consistently rank in the top three for each of the three types of pollution measured by the ALA report (i.e., they had the highest pollution levels). Contrasting this are the cleanest cities in the United States, such as Burlington (Vermont), Honolulu (Hawaii), and Wilmington (North Carolina). Using this map, you can see how bad the air is in your city or state. Also Read Landfills in United States.
Contamination of Outdoor Air and Environmental Fairness
Near a refineries, port, toxic waste disposal or other polluting facility is something no one wishes to live next to. Despite this, millions of people across the world smoke, which increases their risk of respiratory disease, heart disease, brain damage, cancer, as well as death. According to the ALA, people of colour in the U.s are 1.5 twice as likely to live in regions to poor air quality than whites.
As a result of racist zoning policies and redlining, communities of colour, particularly poor as well as working-class communities of colour, have become sacrifice zones where inhabitants are forced to breathe polluted air and suffer the many health issues associated with it. People who live in these communities face additional economic harm, including missed workdays, greater medical costs, and underinvestment in their communities.
Cities as well as industrial areas aren’t the only places where racism against the environment occurs. As migrant and temporary farmworkers with in United States are some of the most susceptible to air pollution, they are also some of the least able to exert pressure on their employers as well as lawmakers to defend their right to inhale clean air.
Using information on environmental conditions but also demographics, cumulative impact mapping has recently been able to display how some towns are overburdened with strands of issues, such as high levels of poverty, underemployment, or pollution. It’s been clear for decades, thanks to the Environmental Protection Screening Test and the EPA’s EJSCREEN, that we still need land-use and population health reforms to make sure that vulnerable spots really aren’t overburdened and those who need resources the most get them.
Keeping Air Pollution Under Control
Fossil-fuel interests, aided by industry-friendly legislators, have frequently tried to weaken the Clean Air Act’s many protection mechanisms in the United States since its inception in 1970. Maintaining good our air quality will always depend on keeping this fundamental environmental law in place and enforcing it as intended.
It’s also critical that we speed up our transformation to cleaner fuels as well as industrial processes, which will have the greatest impact on air pollution. Renewable energy sources (wind, solar, etc.) can help us reduce air pollution while also reducing the warming that exacerbates many of its most harmful health effects. Increasingly, we’ll be replacing our gasoline-powered trucks and cars to electric models.
What about the financial implications of reducing air pollution? NRDC commissioned a study on the Clean Air Act, which found that the spent at least of cleaner air outweighed the costs of clean-air regulations by up to 32 times. Up to 370,000 unnecessary deaths, 189,000 fewer cardio – respiratory illnesses, as well as net financial advantages of up to $3.8 trillion again for U.S. economy every year, are among the benefits.
Reduce Air Pollution: What You Can Do
To lessen air pollution and the adverse effects of global warming we must use less gasoline, says Walke. “When it comes to transportation, make wise decisions. Take public transportation whenever possible if you can. You can either get more miles per gallon by driving a gas-efficient vehicle, or you can get an electric vehicle. As an alternative, readers may even be able to demand that your power be generated using wind or solar power. Buying locally reduces the amount of fossil fuels needed to transport food across the country. To that end, “Support those pushing for clean air, including elected officials,” says Walke.