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The issue of air pollution has been on our minds a lot in 2017. American cities are nothing like Delhi or Beijing, where toxic smog blankets the skyline and closes schools. But air quality is still very poor in far too many parts of the United States.
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All around the globe, air pollution impacts people’s lives — keeping people indoors, leading to conditions like asthma, lung cancer, heart disease, and even brain disease, and leading to millions of deaths each year. And no, this isn’t just a problem abroad: More than half of Americans live in areas that have unsafe levels of air pollution. Most of that air pollution comes from the toxic emissions spewing out of the tailpipes of our cars and trucks.
We’ve compiled some examples of how air pollution is affecting the lives of people from London, to Shanghai, to Los Angeles, to Delhi, to Salt Lake City and even more places in a Twitter Moment. Below is a sample of what we’ve pulled together:
Smog can sweep in like a wave. Or a faceless villain in a John Carpenter movie. As it did in Beijing on Jan. 2.
— CNN (@CNN) January 2, 2017
In late January, London’s air surpassed Beijing’s in awfulness. Particulate matter, which can lodge in lungs, hit 197 micrograms per cubic meter; the recommended limit is 25.
Air pollution in London passed levels in Beijing this week, with popular wood burning stoves blamed for exacerbating the problem pic.twitter.com/48OAGRyzbt
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) January 25, 2017
Mexico City tried banning cars on Saturdays, expecting particulates and nitrogen oxides would fall 16 percent. But the gains never materialized.
— Fuel Freedom (@fuelfreedomnow) February 6, 2017
The Wasatch front near Salt Lake City has its own air problems in wintertime, when pollution collects in the valley below the mountains.
The air is opaque in Salt Lake City. pic.twitter.com/ADuAvkz5Xl
— Tiff Frandsen (@tiffany_mf) February 1, 2017
The agency in charge improving SoCal air quality is focused primarily on stationary sources of pollution, like factories. Millions of cars are tougher to control.
— Fuel Freedom (@fuelfreedomnow) February 7, 2017
Everyone deserves clean air to breathe, and that’s why we believe it’s so important that America and the world transition to cleaner fuels. This is one of the many reasons we’re fighting to ensure Americans have a choice of cleaner burning fuels at the pump. We hope you’ll join us in this fight by making a donation today.
Just when you thought it was safe to drive a gas-guzzler again — peak oil is back. And it’s after your wallet, your air, and your planet.