The decline in air quality is becoming more pronounced, presenting a growing health challenge. Climate change jeopardizes both air quality and respiratory health, with studies revealing that almost 50% of the population lacks access to clean air.
Miami, FL (ADH News) – Around 50% of lung diseases are attributed to air-related causes, as indicated by World Health Organization statistics, calling for increased attention from the broader community. However, in the past, the air quality in urban areas was considered to be poor. This may have changed now. Due to the influence of globalization, the air quality in all places may not be as good as you think!
According to an air quality report by The American Lung Association, climate change has increased unhealthy air and heat waves, and worsening air pollution endangers human health. Nearly 190 million people worldwide are at risk from air pollution, and almost half of the U.S. population breathes unhealthy air. Air pollution not only causes diseases such as lung cancer and asthma but may also lead to heart disease, stroke and premature death.
The impact of air pollution on lung health has received heightened attention since the COVID-19 epidemic. Although the Clean Air Act has targeted air quality improvements since 1970, the ozone and particle pollution situation still needs to be optimistic. Climate change is making air pollution worse. After wildfires in many parts of the West, suspended particulate matter pollution continues to reach record highs, threatening children, the elderly, people with lung disease and everyone who lives here.
The following are the ten regions with the most severe ozone and particulate matter pollution in 2023:
1. Kern County, California
2. Tulare, California
3. Plumas, California
4. Klamath, California
5. Kings, California
6. Fresno, California
7. San Bernardino, California
8. Riverside, California
9. Lincoln, Montana
10. Fairbanks North Star, Alaska
Each year, the State of the Air reports on the two most common outdoor air pollutants: ozone pollution and particulate matter pollution. Each is harmful to public health and can even be fatal. The 2023 State of the Air report found that 17.6 million fewer people are breathing unhealthy air compared to last year’s report. Ozone pollution has declined in many parts of the country. Still, the number of people living in areas with acceptable levels of deadly particulate pollution has increased, with nearly 36% of Americans (119.6 million people) living in areas with unhealthy ozone or particle pollution levels.
In addition, this year, it was again found that people of colour have the highest rates of living in unhealthy air, with 54% of people of colour living in areas that failed at least one air pollution indicator and in areas with the worst air quality and failing all three pollution measures, 72% of the 18 million residents affected are people of colour, compared with 28% of white people.