“Calculating Air Pollution’s Death Toll, Across State Lines”

“Here’s further proof that air pollution ignores borders: In most states, about half of the premature deaths caused by poor air quality are linked to pollutants that blow in from other states, a new study found.

The study investigated the sources and effects of two major pollutants that harm humans, ozone and fine airborne particles, in the lower 48 states from 2005 to 2018. It found that in New York, nearly two-thirds of premature deaths are attributable to pollution from sources in other states. That makes the state the largest “net importer” of early deaths, to use the researchers’ term.

Ozone and fine particles are a result of fuel burning, so the analysis, published Wednesday in Nature, could have implications for policymakers looking for ways to reduce air pollution, and premature mortality, by regulating so-called cross-state emissions. So far only emissions from electric power generation are regulated in this way, but the study looked at six other sources of pollutants, including other industries, road transportation, aviation and commercial and residential sources like heating for homes and buildings.”

Henry Fountain reports for the New York Times February 12, 2020.

SEE ALSO:

“Cross-State Air Pollution Causes Significant Premature Deaths in the U.S.” (InsideClimate News)