A new study from MIT’s Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment finds that air pollution causes 200,000 early deaths every year in the United States. The team examined ground-level emissions from industrial power plants, vehicle tailpipes, commercial and residential heating and other sources to reach the conclusion. The worst state for air pollution is California with an early mortality figure of 21,000, while Baltimore is the city with the highest emissions-related mortality rate — 130 out of 100,000 residents die annually from air pollution.
Image © Wolfgang Schlegl
Exhaust fumes from road transportation were found to be the biggest killer in the U.S. with 53,000 of the 200,000 annual deaths, followed closely by electrical power generation at 52,000. Industrial emissions leading to premature deaths were found to be prevalent in the Midwest, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Atlanta.
“In the past five to 10 years, the evidence linking air-pollution exposure to risk of early death has really solidified and gained scientific and political traction,” said Steven Barrett, an assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT. “There’s a realization that air pollution is a major problem in any city, and there’s a desire to do something about it.”
+ MIT Study Published in Atmospheric Environment Journal
Lead image via Bart Everett