Report: Air Pollution Threatens Health, Lives of 1 in 3 Americans

Apr 20, 2023

The American Lung Association (ALA) says around 119 million people in the US live with unhealthy air pollution. That’s a third of the population. Pollution might make their lives shorter, an ALA report said. The report also said minorities and those living in western cities have a higher risk.      

However, the report also found that 18 million fewer people were breathing unhealthy air this year. This is mostly because there is less ozone pollution in some places. Ozone is a big part of smog. It is produced by cars, factories, and power plants.

The report says it's normal for things to change a bit. However, it doesn't mean there's a lasting change.  The report also said the Clean Air Act was helpful in lowering ozone levels. 

This 1970 law lets the government control air emissions.

The ALA gave an A grade to about one-fourth of US counties. But over 100 million Americans live in counties that got failing grades. More than half of the people living in counties that failed in at least one category were people of color.  

The report says that kids and older people have a higher risk. At least 27 million kids and 18 million people over 65 live in counties with failing grades.   

The president of the ALA said that not all places are getting better. Everyone in the US must have clean air to breathe, he said. 

Photo by Andreas Strandman courtesy of Unsplash.

Based on the details in the story, what is one cause of ozone pollution? (Common Core RI.5.1; RI.6.1)
a. trees
b. power plants
c. contaminated water
d. biking
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