Air Pollution

Denver
Rick Kimpel / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced a Colorado region missed its air quality standards deadline.

The Coloradoan reports that the EPA is expected to mark the nine-county North Front Range region that includes Denver county in serious noncompliance with a federal standard.

Emphysema is considered a smoker's disease. But it turns out, exposure to air pollution may lead to the same changes in the lung that give rise to emphysema.

Welcome to the coldest capital city on earth — Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia — where the temperature can drop to minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit at night. The city's population has nearly tripled since 1989. Without infrastructure to service all 1.4 million people, residents off the electric grid are burning raw coal to stay warm.

Bennett, Tamura-Wicks et. al. 2019 / https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002856

A pair of scientific reports out this week looked at air pollution and how it’s changed in recent years. The Mountain West looks clean compared to other parts of the country, at first glance.

Every state has a "right-to-farm" law on the books to protect farmers from being sued by their neighbors for the routine smells and noise created by farming operations. But this year, the agriculture industry has been pushing in several states to amend those laws so that they will effectively prevent neighbors from suing farms at all — even massive industrial livestock operations.

National Park Service

Harmful nitrogen pollution is still drifting onto fragile, high-elevation ecosystems in Rocky Mountain National Park from Colorado highways, power plants and livestock operations, state and federal agencies said.

Thanks to federal regulations, our outdoor air has half the emissions from harmful gases that it had four decades ago.

Sounds great, right? Except Americans spend around 90 percent of their lives indoors, according to an EPA-funded study.

So what do we know about the air we breathe inside? Turns out, very little.

Here’s The New Yorker’s Nicola Twilley:

You've probably heard statistics about how our diet affects the health of the planet. Like how a beef hamburger takes considerably more water and land to produce than a veggie burger or that around a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions stem from food production.

Several members of a powerful science panel for the Environmental Protection Agency expressed doubt at a hearing Thursday about the long-established scientific consensus that air pollution can cause premature death.

The panel was meeting to consider recommendations that would fundamentally change how the agency analyzes the public health dangers posed by air pollution and could lead to weaker regulation of soot.

A new study shows air pollution like soot, dust and smoke is down around the country with one exception: wildfire prone areas like the Mountain West.  

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