In its 17th annual “state of the air” report, the American Lung Association has announced that at least half of the U.S. population is living (and breathing) in air conditions that it deems unhealthy. With an increase in air pollution comes higher risk of lung cancer, reproductive issues, heart disease. and many other health-related complications.
As reported by The Guardian, these spikes in air pollution have been attributed to the burning of coal, vehicular emissions, and a longer, more intense fire season:
Six of the 10 worst US cities for short-term pollution are in California, which has been in the grip of an historic drought. Bakersfield, California, was named the most polluted city for both short-term and year-round particle pollution, while Los Angeles-Long Beach was the worst for ozone pollution.
Small particles that escape from the burning of coal and from vehicle tail pipes can bury themselves deep in people’s lungs, causing various health problems. Ozone and other harmful gases can also be expelled from these sources, triggering asthma attacks and even premature death.
To read more via the Guardian, click here.