Articles on Air pollution

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Severe air pollution can speed up neurodegeneration when the brain is at the peak of its development — during childhood. Pictured here, a child in Beijing. (Shutterstock)

Air pollution in global megacities linked to children’s cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s and death

Investigation of the brains of children and young adults who died suddenly in Mexico City revealed amyloid plaques similar to those found in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease.
The benefits of ‘superblocks’ for Barcelona include better health, access to green space and other public space, and more transport-related physical activity. Orbon Alija/iStock

Superblocks are transforming Barcelona. They might work in Australian cities too

The Spanish city is remaking urban neighbourhoods by limiting through traffic in superblocks that give priority to pedestrians and street activities, not cars.
The Wheelabrator Waste to Energy Plant in Saugus, Massachusetts, has been burning trash to generate electricity since 1975. Fletcher6/Wikimedia

Is burning trash a good way to handle it? Waste incineration in 5 charts

Every year the US burns more than 34 million tons of garbage in incinerators. These plants are major pollution sources, and most are clustered in disadvantaged communities.
Oil refineries and other industrial sources in and around Houston create some of the highest ozone levels in the nation. AP Photo/Pat Sullivan

As air pollution increases in some US cities, the Trump administration is weakening clean air regulations

Air quality in the US has improved greatly since 1990, but a new report finds progress stalling in some cities. Meanwhile, the Trump administration is rolling back air pollution controls.
Just off Washington Square in New York City. Frej Berg/Flickr

The value of trees: 4 essential reads

Trees clean urban air, store carbon, slow floodwaters and can be used to design safer streets. Scholars are starting to calculate what these services are worth – a fitting topic for Arbor Day.

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