Here are some important facts about air pollution that will give you some background information regarding our toxic air:

Fact #1: More than half of the U.S. population lives in or near areas that violate clean air standards. (Shabecoff & Shabecoff, 2010, p. 73)

Fact #2: You don’t have to be living next to a prominent source of air pollution to be affected. Although exposure is definitely higher in the immediate vicinity of toxic industrial plants, these facilities can send their pollution hundreds of miles away to whatever states are downwind. (Hopkins, 9-29-2016)

Fact #3: City pollution in some instances may be as harmful as lead. (Gold, 2009)

Fact #4: The lungs of city dwellers eventually become more blackened than those living in the country as a result of all the particulate matter in the air, which can be very similar to smoking. (Shabecoff & Shabecoff, 2010)

Fact #5: Levels of smog have doubled since 1900. (ibid)

Fact #6: Not all energy is created equally. As compared to natural gas, coal-fired power plants produce anywhere from 150 to 400 times as much particulate matter for the same energy. (Cai et al., 2012)

Fact #7: About a third of all toxic air emissions in the U.S. come from 100 or so “super polluters.” These 100 facilities (out of more than 20,000 that are required to report to the EPA) collectively spewed more than a billion metric tons of gases into the atmosphere in 2014, the equivalent of a full-year’s emissions from 219 million passenger vehicles, which is nearly twice the number of cars registered in the U.S. Among these emissions were 270 million pounds of chemicals. (Hopkins, 9-29-2016)

Fact #8: Researches at NASA say that air pollution from things like car exhaust may increase lightening strikes by as much as 25%. (Discover, April 2010, p 16)