Beijing residents with a variety of approaches to urban air pollution.
In recent years the number of motor vehicles – and the pollution they generate – has grown astronomically, leading some citydwellers to wear facemasks in the hopes of protecting themselves. So do they work?
Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2013. Subways abound in fine particles often carried by brakes or trains.
Diego Torres Silvestre/Flickr
Subways seem like the perfect solution to improve air quality in cities. But what about air quality underground?
Coal stockpile at a Milwaukee, Wisconsin power plant, 2011.
A recent study shows that large piles of coal produce measurable quantities of fine particulate air pollution within a 25-mile radius. Covering coal trains and storage piles could reduce the problem.
The estimated economic value of minimising the damage to public health has been reduced by 80 percent.
Coal-fired power stations, metal smelting and vehicle emissions all pump mercury into the atmosphere.
Australia is the 16th-largest emitter of mercury in the world. A huge amount comes from coal power stations – and a new report argues our pollution guidelines are hopelessly lax.
Household air pollution in Nairobi is primarily driven by fuels burnt for cooking and lighting.
Research in Kenya’s capital found average levels of hazardous solid and liquid particles in the air within households were three times more than the WHO recommended maximum level.
A boy plays cricket among smoke in Karachi. Deaths from air pollution across the globe will increase as climate change accelerates.
A new study suggests climate change will cause changes to patterns of ground-level ozone and smog – two deadly pollutants set to increase deaths by about 260,000 worldwide by the end of the century.
Residents of high-density housing might value features such as balconies, but when roads get busy this increases exposure to pollution.
Many new housing developments are being built along busy roads and rail lines, but lack design features that would reduce occupants' exposure to harmful traffic pollution.
The evidence that living near exhaust stacks from busy tunnels harms your lungs is far from settled.
As the latest controversy about tunnel exhaust stacks and respiratory health plays out in the media, some community members are proposing solutions that just don't make sense.
New Delhi’s pollution is among the worst in the world. Each autumn, when crops are burnt and wind speeds are low, it risks rising to crisis levels.
Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier
In November 2016, smog in New Delhi was 16 times above safe levels. An Indian researcher dug into the data to find out why, and how India can keep its capital breathing safely.
We don’t know what the car of the future will look like – but that’s no excuse to delay transport reform.
Australia needs to 'embrace uncertainty' on the future of transport, with flexible, holistically focused policy.
Cholla power plant near Joseph City, Arizona, photographed on Jan. 16, 2010.
Coal-fired power plants produce air pollution that kills thousands of Americans every year. President Trump's embrace of coal energy will delay a shift to cleaner fuels that is saving money and lives.
Hog feeding operation near Tribune, Kansas.
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
Large livestock farms, known as CAFOs, have polluted air and water in many communities. A recent court decision will force CAFOs to report their air emissions from manure and other sources.
But the most effective measures will be unpopular.
The EPA’s effort to remove lead from gasoline saved a lot of infant lives.
Kimberly White KW/DH via Reuters
An extensive amount of research has shown a direct link between air quality and fetal and infant health. Cleaner air has saved lives – and money.
Developed nations need to stop telling smoggy cities to clean up their act and start critiquing their own consumption habits.
A man stretches his leg on the bank of the Han River as a ship passes by amid thick haze. Tens of thousands of premature deaths in east Asia every year are caused by shipping pollution.
The merchant navy – some 20,000 ships – carries the vast majority of trade goods around the world. Unfortunately, they also spew toxic pollutants that harm people and the environment.
Trump signed the executive order surrounded by coal miners, saying it was ‘about jobs.’
AP Photo/Matthew Brown
Trump's executive order on climate will cede American leadership internationally and scores a political win. But reversing all Obama's work will require big wins in court.
New research shows that exposure to fine particulate air pollution may double the risk of dementia in older women by increasing growth of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain.
The bad old days: Public and political support for the EPA was highest when environmental problems like air and water pollution were more obvious than current problems like climate change or endocrine disruptors.
U.S. National Archives
Today's political climate gives new EPA head Scott Pruitt a clear path to seriously cut back EPA enforcement – more than previous administrations.