It is report card time for air quality in the nation, and Philadelphia County did not fare well. The American Lung Association also gave Philadelphia, as well as Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware, and Chester Counties “Fs” for failure in its State of the Air 2018 report, due to unhealthy levels of ozone pollution. To make matters even worse, Philadelphia is ranked near the bottom among cities in the nation for air quality.
The ALA’s grading resulted from weighing data collected from a variety of county, state, and federal agencies from 2014 through 2016. Philadelphia was ranked 24th in the nation for ozone pollution and 12th in the nation for year-round particle pollution. The amount of overall air pollution has increased significantly since the last report, which covered 2013 and 2014.
The American Lung Association reported that over 134 million people in the United States are living in areas with unhealthy levels of smog and air pollution, which is an increase from 125 million people reported in 2016.
Smog is a collection of air pollution that includes dangerous particles and soot that gets trapped in a ground-level layer of ozone. Carbon dioxide emissions from cars, trucks, and busses; airborne chemicals from manufacturing plants; and the burning of waste and fuel are the main contributors to the unhealthy level of pollution in an area.
Exposure to air pollution and smog in the United States increases in the summer season, as hot temperatures contribute to the amount of pollution and smog that develops. Global Warming and the increasing temperatures on earth are being partially blamed for the increase in poor air quality. But human behavior is still the number one cause of air pollution. Car emissions, industrial pollutants, and incinerators continuously fill the air with harmful pollutants.
Health effects of air pollution and smog range from mild to severe. Coughing, throat and chest irritation, as well as respiratory inflammation are common in areas with poor air quality. These conditions can last from several hours to several days following exposure.
In those who suffer with respiratory illnesses like asthma, COPD, and emphysema, smog and air pollution make their symptoms worse. Athletes and those who enjoy running, walking, cycling, and other forms of outdoor exercise experience decreased lung capacity in areas where air pollution is high. The elderly and the very young are especially vulnerable to the effects of smog.
Particle pollution and ozone have also been linked to premature death, lung cancer, heart disease, and reproductive damage.
If you or someone you know has suffered health impairment or illness related to exposure to environmental hazards, you may be entitled to compensation. The Philadelphia environmental lawyers at Williams Cedar can provide skilled, experienced legal representation for your claim. Call us today at 215-557-0099 or 856-874-7500 or contact us online for a free consultation. With offices located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey we represent clients in Southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide.