The Washington, D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area, home to over six million people, suffered through 86 days of poor air quality due to air pollution in 2018, according to a new report from Environment Virginia Research & Policy Center, Frontier Group and U.S. PIRG Education Fund. Statistics from 2018 represent the most recent data available. Air pollution increases the risk of premature death, asthma attacks and other adverse health impacts.
For the report, “Trouble in the Air: Millions of Americans Breathed Polluted Air in 2018,” researchers reviewed Environmental Protection Agency air pollution records from across the country. The report focuses on ground-level ozone and fine particulate pollution, which are harmful pollutants that come from burning fossil fuels such as coal, diesel, gasoline, natural gas and from other sources.
Recommendations in the report include calling on policymakers at all levels of government to reduce emissions from transportation, support clean renewable energy and expand climate-friendly transportation options with more transit, bike lanes and walkways. The study also calls on the federal government to strengthen ozone and particulate pollution standards, and support strong clean car standards instead of rolling them back.
For more information, visit environmentvirginiacenter.org.