Stricter Air Quality Standards Could Save Thousands Of Lives, Reduce Sick Days

Henrietta Brewer
August 12, 2016

In one year, there could be about 9,320 fewer deaths and 19 million fewer sick days if the American Thoracic Society's (ATS) recommended air quality standards are implemented, a report released Wednesday suggests. They also raise the likelihood of hospital admissions for cardiac and respiratory problems.

The ATS recommended standards for O3 and PM2.5 are based on scores of national and global epidemiological, animal and human exposure studies.

Not only will the grants fund projects to educate the public about the why, what and how-to-use advanced air quality sensor technology, but will also aim to quantify the accuracy and efficacy for air monitoring technologies and how to get high-quality data and actionable analytics from them. They compared county-level pollution data between 2011 and 2013 to numbers that describe the association between pollution and health outcomes. The report estimated air-pollution-related deaths for MA at 114 a year; Rhode Island's death rate was put at 30 per year; New Hampshire's rate was 15 deaths annually; while 11 people die from air-pollution-related causes each year in Maine.

That's 24 more unhealthful days than past year, with the worst pollution in the Crestline, Redlands and San Bernardino areas. As the university's press release states: "For example, on the same day the air is clean in Shadyside, pollutant levels could be unsafe in Braddock".

Riverside, Calif. (San Bernardino-Ontario): 808 lives saved. -Long Beach-Glendale area had about 3,255 illnesses.


The study further estimated the number of times people called in sick, missed school or otherwise had to curtail their activities because of air pollution.

That's 24 more unhealthful days than previous year, with the worst pollution in the Crestline, Redlands and San Bernardino areas.

The study was released as Southern California's ocean-to-mountains air basin is weathering a tough smog season.

The main take-away from the ATS study, she said, is that air pollution "is a very serious issue".

The out-of-state pollution problem means that CT, despite efforts to cut in-state pollution, is often exceeding even the higher federal ozone standard.


The American Thoracic Society, a professional organization representing more than 15,000 physicians, research scientists and other health professionals, regularly provides scientific recommendations to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a $749,820 grant to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, in Diamond Bar, to engage, educate, and empower California communities on the use and applications of low-priced air monitoring sensors.

Two years ago residents began working with Clean Air Carolina and the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation on air and water pollution.

- Demonstrating progress on significant national environmental justice challenges. The researchers and their organizational partners will provide appropriate technical assistance and low-priced portable sensors for the communities. He criticized a December vote by the South Coast Air Quality Management District board to adopt an industry-backed plan to reduce emissions from power plants and other smokestack polluters.

But our now year-old fire season is also contributing to the bad air quality.


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