New studies show improving air quality

Traffic creates air pollution in metropolitan areas. Photo: Wikimedia/Osvaldo Gago

The American Lung Association recently released its 2014 “State of the Air” report detailing air pollution statistics in the United States and its implications for health conditions across the country. 

Most alarming, the report found that nearly half of all Americans live in conditions with dangerous levels of air pollution.  Still, the report suggests that 2010-2012 saw improvements in the levels of particle pollution, one of the more significant human health risks. 

The report urged continued, sustained efforts by the current administration and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) toward meeting the nation’s goals of reduced emissions and improved air quality. 

Lower levels in the High North 

The Norwegian Environment Agency has reported a general decline in air pollutants over the last 25 years, but express a concern that there still exist levels of air pollution in major metropolitan areas that may pose a health risk. 

Air pollution levels in the High North region are generally far lower than nearby neighbors to the south.  In Norway this is due, in part, to the higher population density and, as a result, greater amount of traffic in the more populated cities in the southern region.  Nonetheless, Norway seems to be making greater progress in meeting its goals for reduced atmospheric pollutants. 

Both American and Norwegian agencies stressed the need to be more vigilant about the monitoring of fossil fuel burning energy plants as well as transportation-related emissions. 




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