Full Title: Trouble in the Air Millions of Americans Breathed Polluted Air in 2018
Author(s): Elizabeth Ridlington, Gideon Weissman, Morgan Folger,
Publisher(s): Environment America Research & Policy Center, U.S. PIRG Education Fund, Frontier Group
Publication Date: January 28, 2020
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People across America regularly breathe polluted air that increases their risk of premature death, and can also trigger asthma attacks and other adverse health impacts.
In 2018, 108 million Americans lived in areas that experienced more than 100 days of degraded air quality. That is equal to more than three months of the
year in which ground-level ozone (the main ingredient in smog) and/or particulate pollution was above the level that the EPA has determined presents “little to no risk.” These Americans live in 89 large and small urban areas,* and in 12 rural counties. Millions more Americans are exposed to damaging levels of air pollution, but less frequently.
Policymakers can protect public health by strengthening air quality protections, reducing reliance on fossil fuels that contribute to air pollution, and cutting global warming pollution that will exacerbate future air quality problems.