The EPA’s Annual Air Report discusses air pollution trends around the United States each year, focusing on specific pollutants that are considered especially harmful to human health and the environment. In a new resource, air quality professionals from Camfil Syracuse Air Filters, explain the findings of the report in easy-to-understand language and discuss the implications of the findings for Americans.
The data from the Annual Air Report shows that key pollutants have been declining, both overall since the introduction of the Clean Air Act and year-over-year. It’s important to note that at the same time these key pollutants have declined, the US economy has grown and overall energy usage has increased. This demonstrates actions taken to provide clean and healthy air do not hamper economic growth.
Since 1990, the EPA has observed the following decreases in various pollutants:
– Carbon Monoxide (CO) 8-Hour, 79%
– Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) Annual, 61%
– Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) 1-Hour, 54%
– Ozone (O3) 8-Hour, 21%
– Particulate Matter 10 microns (PM10) 24-Hour, 32%
– Particulate Matter 2.5 microns (PM2.5) Annual, 37% (from 2000)
– Particulate Matter 2.5 microns (PM2.5) 24-Hour, 33% (from 2000)
– Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) 1-Hour, 91%
Though total emissions of key pollutants have dropped by 78% since the very first Annual Air Report, the presence of dangerous air pollutants has not been completely eliminated, which still has notable effects on human health and the environment. In fact, the average American would see an extension of approximately two years in their lifespan if air pollution concentration was reduced to limits recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).
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