More than half US population exposed to dangerous air pollution

A total of 166 million Americans live in areas that have unhealthy levels of either ozone or particle pollution, according to the American Lung Association, raising their risk of lung cancer, asthma attacks, heart disease, reproductive problems and other ailments.

While there has been a gradual improvement in air quality in recent years, the report warned that progress has been too slow and could even be reversed by efforts in Congress to water down the Clean Air Act. “There are wide-ranging extreme measures to undermine the Clean Air Act,” said Paul Billings of the American Lung Association. “If we roll back and weaken these protections, the health consequences will be dire.

“We’ve certainly seen dramatic improvements in air quality but far too many cities and counties exceed levels where adverse effects occur. Progress should be faster. Americans deserve to breathe clean air and there’s still a lot of work to be done.” Billings said more needed to be done to prevent pollution from wood stoves and from oil and gas extraction.

Source: The Guardian, 20 April 2016.

The report: “State of the Air 2016”

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