Southern California smog worsens for second straight year despite reduced emissions

For decades, Southern California has waged a slow but successful war on smog. Through vehicle emissions rules, clean-fuel standards and other tough measures, officials have lifted the choking pall of air pollution that once shrouded Los Angeles, bringing clearer skies and healthier lungs.

But now, progress appears to be faltering. Smog has gotten worse for the second straight year, even though emissions are on the decline.

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CAB Comments on VW mitigation trust

July 17, 2017 – The Clean Air Board of Central Pennsylvania recently submitted comments to the Department of Environmental Protection regarding the draft plan for Environmental Mitigation Trust Agreement (settlement) with Volkswagen.   We asked that DEP focus on pollution reduction projects located in areas with high population density and high traffic density.  Areas of high population density (such as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh) and high traffic density (such as the I-95 corridor, the I-81 corridor, and major ports) are often the areas with the poorest air quality.  We believe that carefully selected projects in these areas will result in much needed health benefits for residents of these areas.  To read the full text of the comments, go to CAB Final Comments

Breathe less … or ban cars: cities have radically different responses to pollution

When thick smog recently hit, Londoners were advised to avoid exercise, while Parisians got free public transport. Which is the best solution?

When a thick cloud of air pollution settled in over London last week, experts warned those with health problems to avoid strenuous exercise. The advice to Londoners essentially boiled down to this: breathe less.

Meanwhile, as Paris suffered a similar pollution episode – its worst in a decade – officials swung into action, waiving charges for public transport and restricting the number of cars allowed on roads, alternately barring those with odd and even license plates.

At the same time Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo joined officials from Madrid, Athens and Mexico City in announcing plans to get all diesel vehicles off the roads by 2025. Diesel is highly polluting, emitting far greater amounts of dangerous nitrogen dioxide and tiny pollution particles than petrol, and can cause cancer to heart attacks.

Read more … The Guardian

Paris Air Pollution

Paris bans cars for second day running as pollution chokes city

From the Guardian, Dec. 7, 2016

Vehicles with odd-number plates were banned on Tuesday and, on Wednesday, it was the even numbers’ turn

Grey Paris: the Eiffel Tower in the smog.
Grey Paris: the Eiffel Tower in the smog. Photograph: Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images

Paris authorities restricted traffic in the city for a second day after a “lid of pollution” sealed the capital, causing concern over public health.

Photographs showed a grey veil of dirty air trapped over the city, masking the horizon and, at times, landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower. Experts said it was the longest most intense spike in pollution for at least 10 years and was expected to continue for at least another day if not longer.

Read more: The Guardian

Take time to give

#GivingTuesday is the 5th annual global day of giving that occurs the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Now is a time when we are asking for your help to continue doing the day to day work of protecting and improving our air quality.  We exist through the efforts of community members who make small donations.

Help us continue our work in monitoring air quality, providing educational programs to schools, and sharing medical research. Support the Clean Air Board of Central Pennsylvania:

Make a donation through PayPal today!

CAB is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, contributions to which are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. The official registration and financial information of CAB may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.

Two Children, One Rich, One Poor, Gasping for Air in Delhi’s Smog

Bhanwari and her husband live in a one-room Delhi apartment with their 18-month-old daughter, Vaishnavi. Credit Poras Chaudhary for The New York Times

NEW DELHI — In the dense smog that engulfed India’s capital early this month, a baby named Vaishnavi gasped through the night.

Inside the concrete room that her father and mother rent for $20 a month, they took turns staying up, laying a hand on her rib cage, feeling it move up and down. Her coughing fits became so violent that she vomited, milk mixed with ropes of sputum. Three times they thought she would not survive until morning.

Twenty miles away, inside an elegant, high-ceilinged house in an elite neighborhood, a 4-year-old boy named Mehtab was also struggling to fill his lungs with air.

Read more,  http://nyti.ms/2f6tRHz

 

Air Pollution in India Reaches Dangerous Levels

The city’s high levels of fine particles — the most deadly because they penetrate more deeply into the lungs — have now soared off the charts, even by New Delhi’s standards, because of seasonal smoke from the burning of leftover crops by farmers in nearby states and from firecrackers set off to celebrate the Diwali holiday.

Levels of the smallest particles, called PM 2.5, recently hit an astounding 688 micrograms per cubic meter of air in one New Delhi neighborhood http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/08/opinion/choking-in-new-delhi.html

Smog Chokes Delhi, Leaving Residents ‘Coweringby Our Air Purifiers’

Levels of the most dangerous particles soared over the weekend in some places to more than 16 times the limit India’s government considers safe.

Read full story:  NY Times, Nov. 8, 2016