According to new research released yesterday, funded by the EPA, more than 30,000 deaths have been linked to the unhealthy air quality in the U.S. over the past two decades. It is also stated that places considered “safe” can increase mortality rates as well.
Imperial College London and the Center for Air, Climate and Energy Solutions at Carnegie Mellon University is where the study is coming from and was funded primarily by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Wellcome Trust. It was published in the journal PLOS Medicine
This research comes at a time when the Trump administration is in the midst of rolling back countless clean air rules. President Trump is currently battling with California (and many other U.S. states that have joined the fight) over its clean waiver, which gives the state authority to impose its own vehicle emissions standards.
Growing concerns over microscopic pollution particles in the air, caused by sources like power plants, the industry, and cars, has made this issue the main focus for human health. These particles are found to be so tiny that they can travel deep into the lungs causing various health problems.
“We’ve known for some time that these particles [PM2.5] can be deadly. This study suggests even at seemingly low concentrations — mostly below current limits — they still cause tens of thousands of deaths,” says Majid Ezzati from Imperial’s School of Public Health and the study’s lead author.