(The Hill) – Blistering heat waves and more frequent wildfires are reversing a generation of U.S. clean air gains, a new study has found.
The peer-reviewed research by the climate analytics firm First Street Foundation projected that by midcentury, the increased levels of microscopic soot particles and ozone molecules entering Americans’ lungs will be back to the levels they were at in 2004 — before a decades-long federal campaign to clean up the air.
Climate change is driving the U.S. from a pattern where the average bad air days are “unhealthy for some to ones which are unhealthy to all,” coauthor Jeremy Porter told The Hill.
Porter said that federal regulations drove consistent improvements in air quality from 1963 until about 2016 — when the negative impacts of climate change surpassed the positive pressure from clear air enforcement.
“We’re seeing the biggest uptick in the most hazardous [air] days,” Porter said, though he …