Particle pollution is one of the most significant health risks facing our nation and its getting worse!
Scientists see PM2.5 as responsible for the worst damages to human health.
- Roughly one in three (more than 93.7 million) people in the United States lives in an area with unhealthful short term levels of particle pollution.
- Nearly one in five (more than 54 million) people in the United States lives in an area with unhealthful year-round levels of particle pollution.
“The American Lung Association is fighting for tougher federal standards because they protect Americans from dangerous levels of air pollution, “Dr. Weaver, American Lung Chair, said. “Air pollution shortens lifespan, it lands our children and elderly in emergency rooms, and it can make children and teens more vulnerable to lung disease for the rest of their lives.”
The size of the particles is directly related to their potential for causing health problems. Small particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter pose the greatest problems, because they can get deep into your lungs and your bloodstream. There are a number of studies that link particle levels to increased hospital admissions, emergency room visits – and even to death from heart or lung disease. The scientific data is both credible and growing; scientific studies include:
- A Journal of American Medical Association study linking soot and fine particulate matter to lung cancer, cardiopulmonary disease and other causes of death.
- A Journal of Air and Waste Management Association study found children living within 250 yards of streets or highways with 20,000 vehicles per day are six times more likely to develop all types of cancer and eight times more likely to get leukemia.
- A UCLA study published in Environmental Health Perspectives journal found a 10 percent to 20 percent increase in the risk of premature birth and low birth weight for infants born to women living near high traffic areas in Los Angeles County.
- During the past 50 years, breast cancer incidence has climbed 90 per cent
- Lung cancer rates have jumped more than 600 per cent
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer tied to a weakened immune system, is up 250%.
- Asthma affects more kids than ever before.
- People near freeways and heavily traveled roads are exposed to 30 times the concentration of dangerous particles according to two recently published UCLA studies.