Improvement in US Air Quality

The largest reason the united states air quality has improves so well over the past years is due to the Clean Air Act of 1970. The EPA has set national standard to try and improve the air quality. Due to the Clean Air Act was set into place to decrease the pollutants it has also affected the air quality that the United states has. In a Report form the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) our air quality has improved. Over the course of twenty-seven year the united states have had large growth in our economy and the population has increased. With a larger population we are driving more miles then in 1990 and using a lot more energy. With this increase in all this people believe that the quality of air in the united states will decrease. Out of all the six major pollutants all are under the national standards the only standard that is being watched closely is the Ozone (O3). The O3 is riding the national standards line. While we do see a decrease there is some inaccuracies seen through, thee data. The EPA had set up the monitors in only urban areas and they only take samples every three days. I think that a way to keep our air quality good and the proper standard that have been set we need to be taking samples from both urban and rural areas. This will give the EPA even more information. With more information he can keep changing the standard have regulate more of the pollutants that we put in the air to continue ensuring that the air quality in the United States continues to improve.

– Eleanor Bingheim

What is it like living in the U.S. with air pollution?

Air pollution is no stranger to the U.S., with many areas of the country being heavily polluted due to intoxicants in the air.  There are many causes for this, but the largest seems to come from the burning of coal and other intoxicants from areas such as factories producing carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere.  Currently, over 141 million Americans live in counties where the air pollution is considered to be at unhealthy levels, which is up by over 16 million more than the number in 2017.  This means that approximately 2 out of 5 people who live in the U.S. live in areas with unhealthy air quality. Highly populated cities such as Los Angeles, which ranked worst out of 227 metropolitan areas for air pollution for the last 20 years, is notorious for having smog plague the city due to the high concentration of air pollution in those regions.  Due to the air pollution, issues such as lung cancer, asthma, and developmental issues in children along with many more.  The last three years in the U.S. have also been the warmest on record which positively correlates to the amount of intoxicants in the air.  This is a problem due to how this ties in to global warming and climate change, which are problems not just in the U.S., but all of the globe. Due to the U.S. having these high levels of air pollution, it is ultimately contributing to these levels of global warming and climate change which impacts the world.  There are many acts imposed by the government to try and tame the levels of pollutants in the air, one of the largest being the Clean Air Act which was enacted in 1963 and has actually been shown to have lowered pollutants in the air due to the rules imposed by this act.  However, the progress the act has made has yet to remove more pollutants than the amount that has entered the atmosphere.  It also should be noted that there are multiple types of air pollution the U.S. deals with.  One type is ozone pollution which is invisible, much like the ozone layer.  Due to this, it is much harder to combat and solve as opposed to the more visible types of pollution.  Ozone, also known as smog, attacks the lungs when breathed in and is very dangerous.  This type of pollution is caused by factors such as tailpipes, smoke stacks, and other forms and is generally what the population thinks of first when they hear air pollution.  Another form is particle pollution which is a mixture of tiny solid and liquid particles in the air much closer to the ground.  Since they’re so tiny, the particles and therefore the pollution isn’t visible in general.  However, in abundance, the air becomes opaque.  This form comes from areas such as the black smoke that comes out of car exhausts and is extremely harmful to breathe in and numerous studies have proven it can easily kill as well.  Older people and younger people who have particularly weak immune systems are very susceptible to problems caused by this type of pollution, but it is much easier to combat as opposed to ozone pollution.  Overall, the U.S. has an air pollution problem just as bad if not worse than many other first world countries and poses a risk to not only humans, but the environment as well, and may very well become a large epidemic if not combatted soon.

The Causes of Air Pollution

Air pollution has created a massive impact on the world, which has ultimately affected many individual’s health around the world. These effects can range form long to short-term. Short-term impacts are just as critical as the long term, but both overall effect the health sate of an individual. The age of an individual can be a factor in how they are effected, along with the type of pollution and duration of exposure to it. Not only are organisms a victim to this, but so in the planet they live on. Air pollution can derive from various causes such as, primary and secondary sources. Primary sources are carbon emissions and water vapor (creates smog), which are causes to primary pollutants. Secondary sources include the intermingling of the primary sources, like industrial emissions or volcanic eruptions. More in depth on these causes are burning of fossil fuels, which is coal, petroleum or other factory combustibles. This can also correlate with pollution emitted from vehicles drove, airplanes, and basic overall transportation. The gasses emitted from the overuse are carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, which can be produced naturally too and is effecting the environment. Along with vehicle emissions into the air, exhaust from factories and industries impact the environment as well. Manufacture businesses release massive amounts of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, organic compounds, and chemicals into the air. Ultimately, this depletes the air quality and causes complications to the organisms living in the atmosphere. Another point of pollution at a closer look is agricultural activities and the byproduct, which is ammonia. This is one of the most hazardous gasses emitted into the atmosphere, but agriculture industries constantly use them for insecticides, pesticides, and fertilizers. Mining operations creates dust and chemicals to be released in the air, so it creates even more air pollution. Mining operations is extracting minerals from below the earth’s surface with large equipment. This typically is a factor in the decreasing health conditions of the workers and nearby residents. Lastly, one of the top air pollutants to create a long lasting effect on individuals is in the privacy of their own home. Indoor pollution is the house cleaning products used and painting supplies. For example, when one finishes painting, the room has an odd odor that makes it hard to breathe. This is a prime example of the indoor pollution many fall victim to every day. Not all air pollution is caused by human activities, but the activities of individuals today do create a much larger impact.

– Mariah Vielbaum

Air Pollution and Preventing Air Pollution, Health Issues and Why Preventing Air Pollution is Important

Preventing air pollution is important for our whole world to be doing. It’s important that everyone is aware of how they can prevent air pollution and also the health issues that could occur is they don’t.

There are many ways you can prevent air pollution. A major one that everyone can do is to conserve energy. Conserving energy and just doing simple things like turning off lights, appliances or anything that uses electricity when we aren’t using it can help make sure harmful chemicals/pollutants stay out of the air as much as possible. Simply looking up simple ways to decrease how much air pollution we caused can change our world drastically, everyone needs to be made aware of what they should be doing to prevent air pollution and what will happen if they don’t.

If we don’t start to take preventing air pollution seriously a lot of damage could be done. A lot of people I’m guessing under stand that air pollution can affect our world and environment drastically but I don’t think everyone knows how much it can affect our health.

Breathing in polluted air can affect your organs and body. Air pollution can hurt your heart and lungs for example. Polluted are can also cause you to develop different life threatening diseases, cause cancer and even shorten your life span or kill you.

Preventing air pollution is something we all need to take more seriously. We should all be educating more people and taking actions to prevent our air from getting polluted. We also need to prevent air pollution before it’s too late for us to do anything. We need to do something now before we are living in a air polluted world and there is nothing we can do about it.

Slides from the Air Pollution Lecture

Written by: Rachel Lawrynk

Which Country Has the Worst Air Pollution?

In 2013, 13 of the 20 most polluted cities were located in India.  New Delhi, India had a PM2 level of 128 compared to Beijing, China having a PM2 level of only 81.  Since then scientists have started using satellite technology to help them understand the state of air pollution.  India included air quality monitoring systems in urban areas as well.

-Madison Granditzke

An Argument against Air Pollution Alarmism.

By Isaac Wysocki

Air Pollution is an interesting problem in this day and age. In a society so dependent on fossil fuel, where is the line drawn on how much we should restrict the use of fossil fuels versus the functionality of modern civilization.

America’s Issue with air pollution started in the late 1940’s. One incident that caused this was the Donora PA. smog in 1948. Due to a warm air pocket passing above the industrial hub, the air pollutants got trapped closer to the city causing 50% of the inhabitants to fall ill and experience respiratory or cardiovascular issues. With the deaths rising to 40 souls, the crisis in Donora was publicized heavily, giving momentum to environmentalism and government restrictions, such as the Clean Air Act.  The Clean Air Act is a piece of U.S. legislation passed in 1970 that gave the federal government broad reach over the state and local governments. This legislation is why we have a National Ambient Air Quality Standards. The government body created to give oversight of this legislation was the Environmental Protection Agency or the EPA.

The EPA serves an important role at the federal level, keeping all states accountable but lately, regulation that politicians have been suggesting plays off people’s natural tendency to care of the land and its inhabitants.  The Green New Deal is a piece of such legislation that has good intentions but is a very ill-conceived document. This piece of proposed legislation plans to change the United states from 15% renewable resources to 100% renewable resources in 10 years. This is infeasible. European countries such as Germany have had similar plans to reduce carbon emissions to zero and the only effect, they have seen is more expensive energy, nearly doubling the price from 2000 to 2017. Germany is now realizing that the wind isn’t always blowing, and the sun isn’t always shining, the supply of energy isn’t constant and can be in shortage or even in surplus of energy. To cover the gap in this program, Germany has increased its coal fired generation of energy, doing worse for the environment then before their program.

America leads the world in technological innovation, even in clean energy technology. America’s leadership is not because of restrictions and laws passed by its legislators, but because of the economic opportunities and freedoms available in its economy. In our economy, the people decide what gets produced, not the government. If people stopped buying products that cause air pollution, the market would adapt to offer cleaner solutions.  Environmental Alarmism is a scam that makes people feel good but in actuality, hurts more than it helps. The laws we have put in place after environmental crisis’ serve a purpose to protect the ecosystem, but a lot of regulation proposed now is overkill and have unintended consequences.  In 1978, the EPA wanted to put strict air pollution regulation over the state of Pennsylvania, The EPA suppressed data on the cost the restrictions would cost and if the senators of Pennsylvania hadn’t worked so hard to oppose the restrictions, the United States Steel industry would have been severely crippled. It’s situations like this that show that government intervention in affairs such as air pollution should be minimal at best and that alarmism hurts more than helps. Continue reading

Illness Caused by Air Pollution

Ryan Mahsem, Taylor Roedl, Maxwell Meyer, Monroe Titus, Jacob Kercher, Seth Nickel, and Gabe Elsen

Environmental Science

Franklin Chen PhD

The world health organization reported indoor air pollution is an even more serious threat to human health than outdoor air pollution. This shows itself more in less-developed countries because they have not made the transition to using cleaner sources of energy.

In 2017, the region of South Asia had 622,490 deaths due to household air pollution. This is because there are many different illnesses caused by air pollution. There are lung diseases and Respiratory problems such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can be contributed to the rising levels of air pollution. Then there is the problem of lung cancer, though it was once believed it was only associated with those who smoke excessively. There is new evidence that suggests that air pollution can also be carcinogenic. A lot of people that live or work in congested spaces with little ventilation are susceptible to air pollution-related ailments.

The world health organization reported that in low- and middle-income countries in South-east Asia and Western Pacific Regions had the largest air pollution problem in 2012, with 3.3 million deaths due to indoor air pollution and 2.6 million deaths due to outdoor air pollution. When broken down into the disease per death, 40% is due to ischemic heart disease, 40% to stroke, 11% to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), 6% to lung cancer, and 3% to acute lower respiratory infections in children is for outdoor air pollution. For indoor air pollution, it is broken down into the cause of death 34% to stoke, 26% to ischemic heart disease, 22% to COPD, 12% to acute lower respiratory infections in children, and 6% to lung cancer.

Overall, air pollution is a major issue that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. The number of deaths needs to have the light shed on it. A combined total of 5.9 million deaths is an alarming number.




Air Pollution Statistics and History

Lauren Butler


Air Pollution Statistics and History


As America grows, our air quality improves. Through statistics and documented history, we can see that concentrations of air pollutants have dropped significantly, death rates due to air pollution are on the decline, and our perception of air pollution has changed.

Concentrations of air pollutants have dropped significantly. Since 1990 Carbon Monoxide, Lead, Nitrogen Dioxide, ozone, particulate matter at 10 and 2.5 Microns, and Sulfur Dioxide levels have dropped. Despite our population growth, air pollutant concentration continues to decline. It’s very unlikely to see a future without air pollutants, but if the trend continues, we will see cleaner air.


Carbon Monoxide (down 77%), Lead (down 80%), Nitrogen Dioxide (Annual, down 56%; 1 Hour, down 50%), Ozone (down 22%), Particulate Matter 10 Microns (down 34%), Particulate Matter 2.5 Microns (Annual, down 41%; 24 Hour, down 40%), Sulfur Dioxide (down 88%)



Even though the concentration of air pollutants is at a historical low, there are still health risks. Death rates from air pollution have declined over the past few decades. It’s difficult to directly attribute the cause of death to air pollution. Death due to air pollution is defined as someone that dies prematurely than would be expected in the absence of air pollution. Air pollution is associated with a number of health problems including heart attacks, asthma attacks, and bronchitis. Air pollution bothers those with heart or lung diseases (like asthma), older adults, and babies and children.




Over the past few decades our perception of air pollution has changed. In 1955 the first United States federal legislation that had to do with research of air pollution was enacted, the Air Pollution Control Act. The first legislation to control air pollution was the Clean Air Act, which started in 1963. This act established a program that researched techniques for monitoring and controlling air pollution. In 1960 there were six states with air pollution programs. In 1965 the Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act was amended to set required standards for controlling the emission of pollutants from certain vehicles. The second amendment was in 1967; the Air Quality Act enabled the government to increase investigations of interstate air pollution transport and expanded studies of air pollution emission inventories, ambient monitoring techniques, and control techniques. By 1970 all fifty states had air pollution programs, amendments for stationary pollution sources and mobile sources, and the EPA was established. More amendments were made in 1990 for problems with acid rain, ozone depletion, and toxic air pollution. Since the beginning of the United States’ action towards clean air, we can see the growth. At the start, we believed that air pollution was a problem brought on by vehicles. Now we understand that air pollution is caused by burning fossil fuels, agricultural activity, factories and industries, mining, and indoor air pollution



Air Pollution and How to Prevent Air Pollution-Blog Post 1(General information Blog)

When people hear pollution most people don’t think of air pollution right away. Air pollution is something we should all be thinking about more and make sure we understand what it is, what could happen because of air pollution


Air pollution by definition is any chemical, physical or biological agent that modifies the natural characteristics of the atmosphere. A lot of different substances can affect the air and cause air pollution. Cars, smoking, burning coal and burning fossil fuels are examples of outdoor air pollution. Smoking, open fire indoor cooking, CO from furnaces and other chemicals from different products we use in our homes, places of work, etc.


Air pollution is a bigger problem then many people think. A lot of people don’t know how much if affects people and how the pollution affects someone’s health. China is one of the top countries with air pollution issues and smog issues. In China, about 1.6 million people in die from air pollution a year, that is about 4,400 a day. In the world, it is estimated that 4.9 million people die from air pollution each year.


Preventing air pollution is something that more people should be making an effort to do and more people should be informing people about. Regulation, car pool, mass public transportation and switching to clean energy are all ways to prevent air pollution. Regulating what we put into the air and how much of a substance we put in the air can make a big difference. Car pooling and mass public transportation can decrease the amount of air pollution we cause from cars, buses, etc. Also, switching to clean energy can help us put healthier substances into the air and make our air cleaner and healthier to breath in.


Without preventing air pollution we would continue to obviously pollute our air but that would cause us to be breathing in unhealthy air and potentially even air that could be very hazardous for us to go outside for long periods of time and breath in. I don’t think anyone wants to get to the point in life that we have to wear certain clothes or masks to go outside so we can breath in healthy air to live. We need to take preventive measures when dealing with air pollution or any type of pollution for that matter so we can live the best lives we can on earth.

Rachel Lawrynk


Lecture Slides/Discussion


Who Air Pollution Impacts

Leah Foss


Who Air Pollution Impacts

Air pollution is the presence of chemicals in the air we breathe that is high enough to cause harm to all living things and entire ecosystems. It is a serious problem that the world will continue to face in the future that needs to be properly understood in order to combat it. This is an issue that is estimated to cause the death of 2.4 million people yearly, according to the World Health Organization. According to the EPA, the United States loses between 150,000 to 350,000 people each year due to air pollution.  Because it impacts so many people, this is a serious issue that needs to be discussed. Part of preventing air pollution is by better understanding just exactly what causes harmful air pollution. Some activities that contribute to air pollution are burning coal and oil in order to produce steel, cement, and electricity, the burning of forests and grasslands, and car emissions. Some of the most dangerous sources of air pollution indoors include tobacco smoke, radioactive radon, and formaldehyde. All of these practices can and should be reduced in order to help our environment.

Air pollution has many adverse effects to the world. One example of this is acid deposition, better known as acid rain. This is when acidic particles fall from the air by precipitation and then are washed into aquatic systems and onto land. This acid rain is said to contribute to respiratory diseases, and the irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat in both humans and animals alike. One other effect that is caused from acid rain is that it removes toxic metals like lead from the soil. This then transfers down the streams and rivers and can get into fish that pick them up, thereby contaminating their ecosystem. This can later cause humans harm if they consume the fish. Acid rain is a serious issue that can impact everyone even if they do not immediately realize it.

Another problem that arises from air pollution is that higher rates of pollution are often linked with birth defects and lower reproductive rates. This causes populations to decrease, obviously, and could lead to extinction for some species of animals if the pollution amounts continue to increase. This is not only a problem for humans and animals, but also a problem that has been arising in crops. Air pollution can directly affect crops by contaminating the soil and water supply, thereby reducing crop yield.

Since air pollution can be harmful to all living things, it is something that everyone should be educated on to better understand the effects it has on the environment. Air pollution does not just effect heavily industrialized countries such as China, but it also impacts the rest of the world even if they aren’t contributing to air pollution. It can contaminate ecosystems, destroying the wildlife, and can even slip into your food. Because it has such a wide scale impact on the environment, it is important that people are better educated on just what exactly air pollution is and what can be done to prevent it.