Gathering information is often the first step towards preparing for climate change related threats. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)
“Eleven states and various local governments have developed preparedness measures to address the air quality impacts associated with climate change. The most frequent recommendation is developing or strengthening statewide air monitoring programs; gathering information is often the first step towards preparing for climate change related threats”.
As this is not a local situation but the result of a major impact from human activity in the worldwide ecosystem, I really hope the scientific community manage to persuade the EU to join this type of measures. We should keep in mind that the biological particle content in the atmosphere not only indicates a potential risk of exposure but also the state of health for the ecosystem in which we are living.
NRDC: Rising temperatures can make smog pollution worse and increase the number of “bad air days” when it’s hard to breathe.
How are states addressing air pollution?
- California‘s plan includes identifying, tracking, and addressing climate-related vulnerabilities, such as reducing air pollution in “hot spots,” and expanding asthma monitoring. Find out more >>
- Florida‘s plan includes strengthening current air pollution prevention policies to account for the effects of climate change. Find out more >>
- Maine‘s plan includes studying and assessing increased health threats from worsening air quality due to climate change. Find out more >>
- Maryland‘s plan includes identifying areas most at risk, improving alert and public educations systems, and working to reduce pollutant emissions. Find out more >>
- Michigan‘s plan includes expanding research and monitoring of air quality threats from climate change. Find out more >>
- New York‘s plan includes expanding surveillance of health indicators, monitoring of air quality, and making the information publicly available. Find out more >>
- New Hampshire‘s plan includes strengthening the ability of local emergency services to respond to days with unhealthy air quality. Find out more >>
- Oregon‘s plan includes measures to address forest fire emission-related vulnerabilities. Find out more >>
- Washington‘s plan includes reducing current air quality problems, tracking contaminant levels, informing healthcare providers, and improving public outreach. Find out more >>
- Wisconsin‘s plan includes tracking and responding to air quality threats. The city of Milwaukee’s plan includes additional measures to reduce current levels of air pollution and improve air quality warning systems. Find out more >>
- Virginia‘s plan includes tracking track changes in allergic or respiratory illnesses and cardiovascular disease that might be associated with air pollution. Find out more >>
In NRDC’s 2007 issue paper, Sneezing and Wheezing: How Global Warming Could Increase Ragweed Allergies, Air Pollution, and Asthma, pages 14-16 describe the methodology by which we created the online air pollution map on our pages. “Unhealthy ozone days” are those sites where at least one day per summer, on average, did not meet the US EPA’s health-based standard for ground-level ozone smog, in the five study years from 2002-2006. The presence of ragweed in an area can mean allergenic pollen is also being produced in late summer and into autumn, which is often the same time that ozone smog is at its worst, posing a “double-whammy” to health for people with allergies and asthma.