Regulations put into place under the Clean Air Act of 1970 have improved American air quality, serving an important public health role, but The New York Times reports that millions of Americans still breathe unhealthy air.
The U.S. is ranked 10th in the world in fine particulate pollution, a kind of microscopic pollution of particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter. Diminished air quality increases the risk of Americans having asthma, lung cancer, heart attack and stroke.
Indiana is the 46th-ranked state for air quality, based on a United Health Foundation list that accounts for the public’s exposure to fine particles. The state is also ninth in the country for how much electricity it produces from coal — a major factor in its air pollution.
The NYT reports that climate change may make air pollution worse and as the Trump administration rolls back some air pollution rules, Americans may face greater health risks in coming years.