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NASA Satellite Data Show 30 Percent Drop In Air Pollution Over Northeast U.S.

Over the past several weeks, NASA satellite measurements have revealed significant reductions in air pollution over the major metropolitan areas of the Northeast United States. Similar reductions have been observed in other regions of the world. These recent improvements in air quality have come at a high cost, as communities grapple with widespread lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders as a result of the spread of COVID-19. Read more …

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CAB files comments on “Transparency Rule”

On May 15, 2020, the Clean Air Board of Central Pennsylvania  filed written comments opposing EPA’s proposed rule  entitled “Strengthening Transparency in Science.”  CAB expressed concern that the proposed rule will work to create barriers to the use of highly respected and valuable epidemiological studies in EPA’s decisions.  Along with other consequences, under the proposed rule, large epidemiological studies like the effect of air pollution and correlation with public health in regard to respiratory, cardiac, and neurological impacts would be discounted, to the detriment of people living close to polluting sources.

The full comment statement can be found here.

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Air Pollution and Coronavirus Death Rates

The New York Times, April 7, 2020 by Lisa Friedman

WASHINGTON — Coronavirus patients in areas that had high levels of air pollution before the pandemic are more likely to die from the infection than patients in cleaner parts of the country, according to a new nationwide study that offers the first clear link between long-term exposure to pollution and Covid-19 death rates.

Read more from NY Times

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NY Times: Now Is the Time to Take Care of Your Lungs. If you are one of the millions of Americans breathing polluted air, you may be at a greater risk of catching the coronavirus and of having a more severe infection.

Air pollution compared during the worst days in big cities and nearby areas

See How the World’s Most Polluted Air Compares With Your City’s

by Nadja Popovich, Blacki Migliozzi, Karthik Patanjali, Anjali Singhvi and Jon HuangDec. 2, 2019

We visualized the damaging, tiny particles that wreak havoc on human health. From the Bay Area to New Delhi, see how the world’s worst pollution compares with your local air.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/12/02/climate/air-pollution-compare-ar-ul.html

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Smog Alerts Coming

Summer will soon be here and that can mean high levels of air pollutants in our air, specifically ozone and small particles, commonly known as smog.

Meteorologists declare “Air Quality Action” days when they project that weather conditions are conducive for unhealthy air pollution. In 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) called six action days for the Susquehanna Valley.

We should heed those warnings. Recent scientific studies conclude that short-term exposure to unhealthy air pollution can have significant adverse effects on pregnant women, children, the elderly, and even the general population–especially those with pre-existing conditions such as asthma. Short term symptoms resulting from breathing high levels of ozone and fine particulate are chest pain, coughing, nausea, throat irritation, and congestion. These pollutants also aggravate bronchitis, heart disease, emphysema, and asthma—and can increase risks of stroke. Children, senior citizens, and those with asthma or other respiratory problems are urged to limit outdoor activities when an action day is predicted.

Air Quality Action days are often declared when there is little wind and when the amount of ozone or particles in stagnant air could exceed federal health standards. The DEP monitors local and regional air quality. Local television and radio stations alert the public when an Air Quality Action day is predicted. Check your newspaper’s websites as well. The Clean Air Board of Central Pennsylvania also monitors pollution levels and posts notices at this website when DEP declares an Air Quality Action day.  Stay informed!