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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Almost half of Americans live with unhealthy levels of air pollution

"Nearly half of all Americans live in areas with unhealthy levels of air pollution, according to an American Lung Association (ALA) report released Wednesday.Nearly 148 million people live in areas where smog and soot particles make it unhealthy to breathe the air, according to the ALA's annual study on US air quality.The report, which is based on data collected between 2010 and 2012, found smog, or ozone, had worsened in 22 of the 25 biggest US metropolitan areas, including Los Angeles, Houston, Washington-Baltimore, New York City and Chicago – and said there was a high risk of more high-ozone days because of climate change.

"Weather played a factor," the report said. "The warmer summers in 2010 and 2012 contributed to higher ozone readings and more frequent ozone days. Sunlight and heat create conditions that increase the risk of high ozone levels."Smog, or ozone, which is the most widespread air pollutant, forms more readily in hotter temperatures, and is expected to increase under climate change. "It's going to make it harder to clean up air pollution," said Janice Nolen of the ALA. "Days that wouldn't ordinarily have high ozone levels are going to have them." She added: "It's going to be much harder to keep ozone pollution down to the levels that we should be breathing.""

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/apr/30/americans-unhealthy-levels-air-pollution

And if widespread fracking - with its well-documented toxins - if that gets added to the already unhealthy mix that our poor lungs are dealing with now (thanks to coal-fired plants and so on), what then America?