air pollution

Tag archives for air pollution

In debates over air pollution control, it’s always a tug-of-war between the cost to business and the cost to public health. Late last month, a study emerged with new data for the public health column: the cost of the nation’s nearly 16,000 annual preterm births linked to air pollution is more than a whopping $5 billion.

Each year, the U.S. spends $26.2 billion on costs associated with preterm birth — that’s birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Beyond the costs, babies born too early experience immediate and long-term problems, from developmental disabilities to asthma to hearing loss. For years, scientists have been studying possible environmental contributors, with many finding an association between preterm birth and air pollution. Earlier this week, a new study brought even more depth and clarity to this connection.

In the first study of its kind, researchers have found that improved air quality in southern California had a direct effect on children’s respiratory health. The findings point to the effectiveness of smart public health policy — in other words, even as southern California experienced increases in traffic and commerce, aggressive air pollution policies resulted in cleaner air and healthier kids.

When compared with gasoline-powered cars, vehicles fueled with electricity from renewable sources could cut air pollution-related deaths by 70 percent, according to a new study, which noted that air pollution is the country’s greatest environmental health threat.

Next time you pass a tree, you might want to give it a second thought. Maybe even a hug. One day, that tree might just help save your life.

Yesterday, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced the agency’s new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, which will reduce emissions of heavy metals and acid gases from coal- and oil-fired power plants. The approximately 1,400 units that EPA expects to be affected by the rule (because they aren’t already meeting the standard) will have up to four…

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is running a fascinating in-depth series on air pollution in Western Pennsylvania. While it’s got a local focus, I’m sure people from other regions can identify with some of the problems it highlights, like the difficulties in regulating pollution that easily crosses state lines and the frustration of seeing inadequate Clean Air…