The US has an overall average of around 9.5 micrograms per cubic meter of PM2.5 (as the particles are known), well below the WHO’s safety guidelines of 25 micrograms per cubic meter.
California has a higher rate of the particles in the air than any other state, with an average of 12.5 micrograms per cubic meter.
However it pales in comparison to Beijing, which reported over 600 micrograms per cubic liter on Monday.
Texas is not far behind at #42 but is improving.
Most airborne particles are coarse, and can actually be seen in the air as soot or smoke. But it’s the finer particles, or those less than 2.5 microns in diameter, that pose the greatest health risks: They can become lodged deeply in a person’s lungs or bloodstream and can cause a host of ailments. Short-term air pollution can aggravate the medical conditions of individuals with asthma and emphysema. Long-term health effects can include chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer, heart disease, and even damage to the brain, nerves, liver, or kidneys.
Urge your lawmakers to regulate air quality.
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