Air Pollution Facts

During the past 29 years, air pollution in the United States has dramatically decreased as a result of the combined efforts of government, industry and individuals.

Yet, research indicates that the public is largely unaware of this progress and believes that air pollution continues to increase and the air quality is deteriorating.

The Foundation aims to educate the public about the great strides that have been made as well as the steps individuals and organizations can take to contribute to continued progress.

Our message is fact-based and derived from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data. Our tips for preventing air pollution are comprised of those advocated by t EPA and other air pollution advocacy organizations. What differentiates the Foundation is the fact that we take a positive approach to discuss air quality and air pollution. We present the situation in the U.S. from the perspective of the glass being half full, rather than half empty.

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The Foundation for Clean Air Progress has gathered several key air pollution facts that may help you understand our success and to help us continue our success in fighting air pollution.

Air Pollution Fact #1:

Since 1970, Americans have cut releases of air pollutants by more than 50 million tons. If you put that many tons into dump trucks lined up bumper to bumper, they would stretch from Baltimore to Dallas the long way — around the world!

Air Pollution Fact #2:

It would take 20 of today’s new cars to generate the same amount of air pollution as one mid-1960s model car. In another 10 years, thanks to new automotive and fuel technologies, it will take 33 cars to produce the air pollution emissions of one mid-1960s model.

Air Pollution Fact #3:

Compared with just 10 years ago, America’s largest cities are recording dramatically fewer days on which air pollution exceeds federal standards.

Air Pollution Fact #4:

One major air pollutant, lead, is nearly gone from our air. Since the mid-1970s, levels of airborne lead are down 96 percent. Despite these facts, there’s still room for improvement. Everyone can help make a difference in this effort.

Air Pollution Fact #5:

Reducing the use of the air conditioner in your car will you’ll continue to reduce the air pollution you create.

Air Pollution Fact #6:

It would take 20 of today’s new cars to generate the same amount of pollution as one mid-1960s model car. In another 10 years, thanks to new automotive and fuel technologies, it will take 33 cars to produce the emissions of one mid-1960s model. As the American Automobile Association (AAA) has reported, in many of our major cities, cars and light trucks are no longer the primary or even secondary cause of summertime ozone ‘smog.’

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Air Pollution Fact #7:

The added weight makes your car’s engine run less efficiently, increasing air pollution.

Air Pollution Fact #8:

On average, the number of exceedance days of air pollution monitored in the Los Angeles-Long Beach metro area declined by 7.3 days per year between 1980 and 1999.

Air Pollution Fact #9:

US EPA ozone exceedance data indicates that, on average, the number of exceedance days monitored in the US declined by 5.5 days per year between 1980 and 1999.

Air Pollution Fact #10:

Between 1980 and 1999, a 43 percent reduction in the three-year average number of air pollution exceedance days was observed.

Air Pollution Fact #11:

A reduction of 93.7 exceedance days (over a quarter of a year), from an average of 218.0 days in 1980-1982 to an average of 124.3 days in 1997-1999

Air Pollution Fact #12:

In the 1950s, smog levels in Southern California were worse than they are today in Mexico City, where current US standards for smog are violated every day of the year.

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For more air pollution facts or air pollution statistics please continue to view the rest of our site, or contact the Foundation for Clean Air Progress.