Air Pollution Crisis: The Most Polluted Cities in the US and Climate Actions to Combat the Epidemic

United States Grapples With The Impact Of Air Pollution Irradiated By The Most Polluted Cities In The US

Most Polluted Cities In The US
United States Grapples With The Impact Of Air Pollution Irradiated By The Most Polluted Cities In The US (Photo: CNBC)

 

Air pollution remains a pressing global epidemic, claiming the lives of at least seven million people annually and affecting over 90% of the world’s population with unhealthy air quality mostly contributed by Industrialized Giants that entails the most polluted cities in the US.

While low-income countries suffer the most severe consequences, the United States also grapples with the impact of air pollution on public health emanating from the most polluted cities in the US. The American Lung Association’s State of the Air report highlights the most polluted cities in the US, with over 135 million people living in areas with compromised air quality. (To learn more click EARTH.ORG)

Fueled by fossil fuel emissions from power plants and vehicles, climate change-induced weather events like wildfires, and increased global warming, air pollution poses serious health threats, including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and premature death. The report reveals a significant disparity, with people of color facing a 61% higher likelihood of residing in polluted regions or most polluted cities in the US and three times more exposure to multiple air quality thresholds.

Among the 15 most polluted cities in the US, California takes the lead, with cities like Bakersfield, Visalia, and Fresno-Madera-Hanford facing high annual PM2.5 levels making their way on the list as the most polluted cities in the US. California’s car-centric culture contributes to outdoor air pollutants, and devastating wildfires exacerbate the air pollution crisis, releasing harmful emissions that prolong wildfire seasons and worsen air quality.

American Initiatives To Address The Escalating Air Pollution In The Most Polluted Cities In The US

To address the escalating air pollution irradiated by the most polluted cities in the US and America as a whole, the Clean Air Act has been instrumental in regulating emissions, preventing hundreds of thousands of deaths, and saving trillions of dollars. However, this alone cannot solve the problem, especially with climate change persisting. In line with efforts to combat climate change, President Joe Biden has pledged to cut US emissions in half by 2030 from the most polluted cities in the US  and other regions as well as to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The recent Inflation Reduction Act aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 40% below 2005 levels by 2030, bringing the US closer to its climate goals and improving air quality for the population. (Read reference here: CHICAGO TRIBUNE)

RELATED: Get To Know The Safest Cities In The US: Most Life-Jeopardizing Cities—Revealed!

Furthermore, recent studies have shown a correlation between air pollution and COVID-19 transmission, suggesting that long-term exposure to polluted air may worsen the impact of the virus. Addressing air pollution through climate actions not only benefits the environment but also helps protect public health, making it crucial for the nation’s well-being.

As the air pollution crisis continues to loom especially in the most polluted cities in the US, sustained efforts, ambitious climate goals, and collective action are essential in combatting this environmental and public health threat. Through a combination of regulations, clean energy adoption, and innovative approaches, the US can pave the way towards cleaner air and a healthier future for all.

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