Lately, when we hear about pollution, the focus has been on climate change, but new research reminds us of yet another reason to clean up our air: respiratory health. Researchers in North Carolina, a state that has been working over the last two decades to curb its emissions, found that deaths due to toxic air declined there.
In a partnership between the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Duke University, the study looked at almost 20 years of public health and emissions data to make connections between improvements in air quality and lower rates of asthma and emphysema deaths. Dr. H. Kim Lyerly, lead author told the Charlotte Observer:
This research tends to show that environmental policies work, if the goal of those policies is not only to improve the environment but also to improve public health.”
We couldn’t agree more! There is still a lot to do to rid NC (and the rest of the world) of toxic pollutants, but this further validates how important and effective it is to fight for a cleaner and healthier planet.
- Duke scientists report air pollution controls linked to lower NC death rates via Charlotte Observer
- Cleaner Air Linked to Fewer Deaths via NY TImes