We are having Santa Ana’s here in Southern California. The thing about having Santa Ana’s is you can really see the smog!
I just Gotta Tell Ya:
- 36% of man-made mercury emissions found in the atmosphere over America come from Asia
- 35% of U.S. particulate pollution comes from residential wood burning
- 25% – the percent of global resources consumed by Americans, who represent only 4 percent of the world population
- 2% of total global carbon dioxide emissions come from the information and communications sector
- 70,000 premature deaths in the U.S. each year are tied to air pollution.
I found this article-
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced yesterday the decision to change the federal lead standards and cut the maximum allowable concentrations to a tenth of the previous standards. The Environmental Protection Agency said there are serious and wide-ranging implications of global warming and of poor air-quality on the well-being and health of Americans.
The agency will tighten airborne lead levels by 90 percent to 0.15 micrograms of lead per cubic meter of air, 10 times down from 1.5 micrograms. The Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee recommended 0.02 micrograms of lead per cubic meter of air. EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson has said that levels of airborne lead nationwide have fallen almost 97 percent from 1980, a consequence of the fact that lead was removed from gasoline. But there are still higher levels in many places in the United States. More than 1,300 tons of lead are emitted into the air each year, the agency said. Lead smelters are the biggest sources of lead emissions, environmental groups say.
Reducing air pollution in these areas is one of EPA’s priorities. The agency estimates that 18 countries in a dozen states will violate the new standard. The new recommendations will be difficult to meet, but state and local governments must find ways to meet the standards and reduce lead emissions that pose great danger especially for children’s health. Developing fetuses are also at risk for adverse health outcomes. Children who live in pre-1978 housing facilities (especially those built before 1950) are at greatest risk for exposure, because the houses may contain lead-based paint.
“With these stronger standards, a new generation of Americans are being protected from harmful lead emissions,” the agency’s administrator said in a statement.
Lead’s toxicity is associated with cardiovascular disease and premature death in older people. Like mercury, lead is considered to be one of the heavy metals and it is a potent neurotoxin that accumulates in soft tissues and bone over time. Lead can damage nervous connections, especially in young children, and cause blood and brain disorders, including lower IQ levels, poor academic achievement and permanent learning disabilities. In adults, the toxic mental can also cause increased blood pressure and decreased kidney function. Exposure later in life can increase risks of cardiovascular illness and mortality. Long term exposure to lead can cause nephropathy, and colic-like abdominal pains.
EPA hopes this measure will improve public health, especially for children. But the action won’t lead to dramatic reductions in blood-levels of younger children, scientists say. These levels are now 80 to 95 percent lower compared to the levels registered in the 1870s. The action was the first change in federal standards in three decades. In tightening the lead standard by almost 90 percent, the agency relied on the results of more than 6,000 studies and on EPA’s own analysis.
Earlier this year, EPA accused five of the country’s states – Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan – of violating one of its recently added pollution standards. The agency is conducting an exhaustive research and by December the final list should be completed.