“Massachusetts residents should be aware that we’re breathing unhealthy air, driven by emissions from power plants and extreme heat as a result of climate change, placing our health and lives at risk,” said Elizabeth Hamlin-Berninger. “In addition to challenges here in Massachusetts the 20th-anniversary ‘State of the Air’ report highlights that more than 4 in 10 Americans are living with unhealthy air, and we’re heading in the wrong direction when it comes to protecting public health.”

This year’s report covers the most recent quality-assured data available collected by states, cities, counties, tribes and federal agencies in 2015-2017. Notably, those three years were the hottest recorded in global history.

Each year the “State of the Air” provides a report card on the two most widespread outdoor air pollutants, ozone pollution, also known as smog, and particle pollution, also called soot. The report analyzes particle pollution in two ways: through average annual particle pollution levels and short-term spikes in particle pollution. Both ozone and particle pollution are dangerous to public health and can increase the risk of premature death and other serious health effects such as lung cancer, asthma attacks, cardiovascular damage, and developmental and reproductive harm.

Ozone Pollution

Compared to the 2018 report, Massachusetts counties did considerably worse, reporting more bad air days for ozone. The counties of Barnstable Bristol, Hampden and Hampshire decreased one or more grades, earning F’s in the 2019 report. Dukes, Plymouth, Suffolk and Worcester also lost grades, earning them C’s and D’s. All together, the counties recorded a total of 97 combined “orange” and “red” bad ozone days from 2015-2017, compared to 59 bad ozone days from 2014-2016.
The counties of Essex, Franklin, Middlesex and Norfolk maintained their grades from last year, despite the overall trend of increased bad air days.

Ozone especially harms children, older adults and those with asthma and other lung diseases,” said Hamlin-Berninger. “When older adults or children with asthma breathe ozone-polluted air, too often they end up in the doctor’s office, the hospital or the emergency room. Ozone can even shorten life itself.”

This report documents how warmer temperatures brought by climate change make ozone more likely to form and harder to clean up. This year’s report showed that ozone levels increased in most cities nationwide, in large part due to the record-breaking global heat experienced in the three years tracked in the report.

Particle Pollution

For Massachusetts, a silver lining in the report highlights a slight decrease in year-round particle pollution levels in all but 3 counties (Berkshire, Hampden and Suffolk), while all counties reported levels in line with national standards and maintained passing grades. Pittsfield MA made the Top 25 list for cleanest year round particle pollution and short term particle pollution. This follows the nationwide trend, showing progress in reducing year-round levels of particle pollution. Read also MASSACHUSETTS LANDFILL.

“Particle pollution is made of soot or tiny particles that come from coal-fired power plants, diesel emissions, wildfires and wood-burning devices. These particles are so small that they can lodge deep in the lungs and trigger asthma attacks, heart attacks and strokes, and can even be lethal,” said Hamlin-Berninger. “Several counties within the Boston-Worcester-Providence metro area ranked on the cleanest counties list for particle pollution – both long and short-term.”

“State of the Air” 2019 also tracked short-term spikes in particle pollution, as these can be extremely dangerous and even lethal. The report found that all of Massachusetts’ reporting counties continue to maintain short-term particle pollution in line with national standards, resulting in A grades.

Even if we don’t recognise it, it has an impact on us all. We’ve taken the air that we breathe at granted for the longest time. There was a mixture of cold and hot air, as well as a mixture of air and scents.

Even Nevertheless, new research has begun to shine light on some fairly alarming features of the air we breathe and how it impacts our bodies. Moreover, as we study, the more we recognise that this crucial source for the world need some serious attention. There is no life without air, yet inhaling dirty air is a death sentence.

We have no justification not to take action now that we are aware of the dangers of air pollution. Listed below are five reasons why we should all do our part to decrease and eradicate air pollution.

A Public Health Crisis Is Being Exacerbated By Smoggy Air

Today, polluted air is a worldwide public health crisis, and there is no mistake about it. Pregnant people as well as toddlers and women preparing over open flames are all at danger from this deadly disease.

Asthma, other respiratory ailments, and heart disease are just a few of the health problems that may be exacerbated by breathing dirty air, regardless of where it comes from.

As many as 800 people are killed by air pollution every hour, or 13 per minute, per the World Health Organization. Although many additional risk factors contribute to mortality, air pollution is the leading cause of death in the United States.

The Most Vulnerable Are Children

93% of the world’s youngsters breathe air that is more polluted than what the World Health Organization (WHO) deems safe for human health, globally. As a consequence, air pollution claims the lives of 600,000 youngsters each year. As if that weren’t bad enough, breathing polluted air impairs children’s brain development and increases their chance of developing chronic diseases later in life.

Women and children are especially vulnerable to the detrimental effects of household air pollution because of their traditional duties in the home in many cultures. And over half of all pneumonia fatalities in children under the age of five may be ascribed to indoor air pollution, which accounts for 60 percent of all home air pollution-related mortality worldwide.

Poverty And Pollution Are Intertwined

As a matter of social justice & global inequity, impoverished people are most affected by air pollution.

Air pollution in the house is mostly caused by the use of fuels & high-emitting cooking and heating equipment. Low-income households are unable to afford clean cooking & heating fuels and technology, therefore polluting options are the norm. Solid fuels, such as wood and kerosene, are used by almost 3 billion people, but 3.8 million of people die each year as a result of their exposure to toxins. A lack of understanding of the dangers of inhaling filthy air, and the high expense and difficulty of obtaining medical treatment, contribute to the issue.

In densely populated urban areas and heavily travelled suburbs, outdoor air pollution levels are particularly high. World Health Organization estimates that 97 percent of poor and middle-income cities with a population of over 100,000 do not fulfil the World Health Organization’s minimal air quality standards. As many as 4 million individuals in the Asia-Pacific area die each year from air pollution-related ailments.

29 percent of cities in high-income nations do not satisfy the standards set by the United Nations. These nations also have impoverished neighbourhoods that are more vulnerable to environmental hazards, such as power plants, industries, incinerators, and busy roadways.  Read also 5 Ways To Reduce & Manage Food Waste.

Increased Expenses Are Associated With Lower-Priced Fuels

The whole community suffers when individuals are ill. Those who are ill need medical attention and medication, children miss school, and working folks take time off to care for loved ones. The World Bank estimates that air pollution costs the world economy more than $5 trillion in welfare expenditures or $225 billion in lost revenue per year.

An OECD research from 2016 estimates that the yearly global welfare spending of premature mortality caused by outdoor air pollution will be between US$18 and 25 trillion by 2060, with pain and suffering costs estimated at roughly US$2.2 trillion.

In addition to the direct expenditures, there are also indirect costs that impact us all throughout the world. Food insecurity and malnutrition would worsen if ground-level ozone reduces staple crop yields by 26% by 2030. Materials and coatings are also degraded by pollution in the air, resulting in lower usable lives and higher cleaning, maintenance, and replacement expenses.

UN Environment’s 6th Global Environment Outlook predicts that climate mitigation initiatives to meet the Paris Agreement objectives will cost around US$22 trillion. At the same time, we might save $54 trillion in health care costs by lowering air pollution. Acting today to reduce air pollution will save $32 trillion over the course of a century.

A Fundamental Human Right Is The Ability To Breathe Fresh Air

More than 100 nations recognise the right to water as a constitutional right, which is the strongest kind of legal protection. The right to a clean environment is guaranteed by treaties, constitutions, and laws in at least 155 countries.

In addition to the Universal Declaration or the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Life, the Sustainable Development Goals—the global roadmap for peace and prosperity—enshrine the right to clean air as well.