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World’s Most Polluted Places



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World’s Most Polluted Places

  • 8. Hexavalent chromium: Sukinda, India
  • 9. Radiation: Chernobyl, Ukraine
  • 10. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs): Arctic Canada

Air Pollution

Air Pollution

World’s Most Polluted Cities (2014, WHO)

Most Polluted Cities in the US Ozone, or Smog (2016)

  • #1: Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA
  • #2: Bakersfield, CA
  • #3: Visalia-Porterville-Hanford, CA
  • #4: Fresno-Madera, CA
  • #5: Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ
  • #6: Sacramento-Roseville, CA
  • #7: Modesto-Merced, CA
  • #8: Denver/Aurora, CO
  • #9: Las Vegas-Henderson, NV-AZ
  • #10: Fort Collins, CO

Most Polluted Cities in the US Particulate Matter (2016)

  • #1: Bakersfield, CA
  • #2: Visalia-Porterville-Hanford, CA
  • #3: Fresno-Madera, CA
  • #4: Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA
  • #5: El Centro, CA
  • #6: Modesto-Merced, CA
  • #6: San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA
  • #8: Cincinnati-Wilmington-Maysville, OH-KY-IN
  • #9: Harrisburg-York-Lebanon, PA
  • #10: Lousville/Jefferson County—Elizabethtown—Madison, KY-IN

Health Effects of Air Pollution

  • Causes 200,000 premature deaths/yr. in U.S. (6.5-7 million worldwide)
  • Causes 1/8 deaths worldwide
    • Far more than are killed by auto accidents

Health Effects of Air Pollution

  • Air pollution causes lung cancer and asthma and impairs lung development and function
    • 220,000 lung cancer deaths/yr (2010)
  • Deaths from cardiopulmonary diseases correlate with air pollution levels in US cities
    • Both day to day and over time
    • Triggers 7.4% of heart attacks worldwide

Health Effects of Air Pollution

  • Increased admissions for CHF, asthma, COPD, PVD, and cerebrovascular disease (stroke and TIA)
  • Increased ventricular arrhythmias
  • Increased lung/breast/liver/upper digestive/pancreatic cancers
  • Decreased exercise tolerance, increased pulmonary symptoms

Health Effects of Air Pollution

  • Increased risk of diabetes
  • Increased risk of DVTs/PEs
  • Increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis
  • Impaired sperm production
  • Premature births (1/3 more common in large towns/cities)
  • Pre-eclampsia

Health Effects of Air Pollution

  • Increase in SGA and LBW infants
  • Increased risk of birth defects (including neural tube defects, circulatory system malformations)
  • Increased risk of appendicitis
    • ?Via link with inflammation?

Health Effects of Air Pollution

  • Accelerated cognitive decline, increased dementia
  • Increased numbers of migraines
  • ?Autism?
  • Days lost from work/school
  • Increased risk of suicide

Air Pollution

  • Coarse, fine and ultrafine particles
  • Ultrafines not regulated, may be most dangerous
  • Nanoparticles may contribute to health risks
  • Massive dust storms increasing

Air Pollution

  • Costing the 34 member OECD states almost $2 trillion/yr, Europe $1.6 trillion/yr, China almost $1.5 trillion/yr, India over $500 billion/yr
  • Reductions in air pollution under Clean Air Act Account for up to 15% of overall increase in life expectancy in major U.S. metropolitan areas
    • Act has saved $22 trillion in health care costs since 1972 passage
    • Saved 160,000 lives in 2010

Ozone Destruction

  • Ozone hole over Antarctic (2½X size of Europe = size of North America)
  • Arctic ozone hole only 9% less than 2000 maximum
    • 40% of Arctic ozone destroyed
    • Hole should gradually decrease in size over many years, close by 2060

Effects of Ozone Destruction

  • Increased cataracts (UV damage)
  • Increased lifetime melanoma risk
    • 1/1500 - 1930
    • 1/68 - today

Antarctic Ozone Hole

Automobiles

Automobiles

  • Number of autos -US: 1.17 car/2 people (88% drive to work)
  • - Average American will own 13 cars during his/her lifetime -Mexico: 1/8 -China: 1/100 (increasing, has surpassed US auto sales)
    • -Worldwide: over 1 billion cars (1/7 people)

Automobiles

  • Over 1.2 million killed, 20-50 million injured/disabled in road accidents annually worldwide
    • Toxic air pollution contributes to car accidents
  • Average miles traveled/car/year in U.S.
    • 1965 - 4,570 mi.
    • 1975 - 6,150 mi.
    • 1985 - 7,460 mi.
    • 1995 - 9,220 mi.
    • 2010 – 12,500 mi.

Automobiles

  • Average fuel efficiency of U.S. autos stagnant
    • Cars and trucks (2015): 33.8 mpg (sticker, reality 26.1 mpg)
    • Government mandated fleet mpg of 54.5 mpg by 2025 (real-world estimate 40 mpg)
    • European and Japanese standards higher
  • Relatively low oil prices (until recently)

Automobiles

  • Growing market for low-efficiency pickups, minivans, and sport-utility vehicles
    • 45% of all vehicles sold today
  • Ford Model T – 25 mpg (1908); Avg. car today – 25.4 mpg (2014)

Automobiles: Alternatives

  • Rapid transit -industry squashed in 1930’s and 40’s (GM, Standard Oil, Firestone, etc.) -Convicted under Sherman Antitrust Act

Automobiles: Alternatives

  • Car sharing
  • Pay-as-you-drive auto insurance
  • Build fewer roads (the more roads you build, the more congestion you create)
  • “Peak Pricing” and “Congestion Fees”
    • E.g., London → 21% decrease in traffic, 43% increase in bus ridership, cleaner air


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