Articles on Particulates

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Fresno, California and the surrounding San Joaquin Valley have some of the nation’s highest levels of fine particle air pollution. AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian

Fine-particle air pollution has decreased across the US, but poor and minority communities are still the most polluted

A new study shows that while fine particle air pollution has declined nationwide over the past 40 years, the health and environmental benefits haven't been shared evenly.
Reducing fine particle air pollution from petrochemical complexes, like this one near the Houston Ship Channel in Texas, is a low-cost way to lower air pollution mortality. AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Air pollution kills thousands of Americans every year – here’s a low-cost strategy to reduce the toll

A new study takes an innovative approach to reducing fine particle air pollution and spotlights key sources: factories that burn coal and oil, petrochemical plants and burning wood for home heating.
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.
An image from the International Space Station captures plumes of smoke from California wildfires on August 4, 2018. NASA

Wildfire smoke is becoming a nationwide health threat

Haze from Northern California wildfires has drifted as far east as Philadelphia. Wildfire smoke contains many potentially toxic substances, so anyone exposed to it should take basic precautions.
A Kosovo policeman directs cars in Pristina after the government banned traffic in response to extremely high fine particle pollution levels, Jan. 31, 2018. AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu

Fine particle air pollution is a public health emergency hiding in plain sight

The head of the World Health Organization calls air pollution 'the new tobacco' because it causes millions of preventable deaths yearly. Fine particle pollution is especially deadly.
Coal stockpile at a Milwaukee, Wisconsin power plant, 2011. Michael Pereckas

Even when it’s sitting in storage, coal threatens human health

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.

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