Texas Clean Air Matters

Selected tag(s): particulate matter

Five Air Pollution Stories You Might Have Missed in 2010

Another year has gone by, and air pollution is still making big news. The following stories represent just a smattering of the news that we’ve read over the year regarding air pollution and its impact on human health. Air pollution continues to be a serious, ongoing problem – not only in Texas, but also around the world. If you don’t have time to read all of the stories individually, just skim the headlines – you’ll get the gist. And revisit this blog in January, when I suggest solutions in the form of resolutions.

1. In China, Pollution Worsens Despite New Efforts [New York Times, registration required]. Rapid industrial growth has resulted in increased air pollution. One of the worst offenders is particulate matter, or fine dust, which when inhaled, tends to lodge deeply in the lungs, making them vulnerable to respiratory problems and others diseases like cancer. According to this story, the “average concentration of particulates in [Bejing’s] air violated the World Health Organization’s standards more than 80 percent of the time during the last quarter of 2008.” In addition, acid rain has become a problem in nearly half of the cities monitored. As if this weren’t bad enough news, a related article last week cites how pollution harms the economy as well: Hong Kong’s 2010 Pollution Level Is Worst on Record, Hurting City’s Image. Read More »

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PARENTS: Act Now Before Funds Run Out for Cleaner School Buses

Parents, if your children are riding to school in buses built before 2007, the air they’re breathing inside the bus may contain more than five to ten times higher the diesel pollution found outside the bus. Alarming, isn’t it?

Even more disturbing are the studies showing that these older school bus diesel engines spew nearly 40 toxic substances, smog-forming emissions and particulate matter, better known as soot.  Your children, who breathe in more air per pound of body weight than adults, are at an even higher health risk because their lungs are still developing.

Why am I telling you this? Because there’s hope on the horizon for those school districts that act fast and apply for new funding that could help make their school buses cleaner.

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