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Clean Air Infographic

published by vekstrom

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Cleaner Air, Longer Lives:
45 Years of Dramatic Improvements
1970
Los Angeles was known as the
     "smog capital of the world"
Beijing, Today
Ohio, 1970
Steubenville, Ohio
was about as polluted as
Beijing
is today
206
211
Micrograms Per Cubic Meter
Total Suspended Particulate Matter Pollution
Steubenville (1970)
Beijing, China (Today)
Total Suspended Particulates, micrograms per cubic meter
217
57
Pollution levels in 1970
SOURCE: Annual monitor-level data from the EPA, averaged from 1968 to 1972.
April 1970
The Clean Air Act passes
September 1970
December 1970
Nixon signs the Clean Air Act
NY Times: Millions Join Earth Day Movement Across the Nation
Life expectancy has since gone up
Average Life-Years Gained 1968-1972 to 2010-2014
5.2
0.8
5 years longer
Steubenville
4 years longer
Los Angeles New York Chicago Washington, DC
2 years longer
Phoenix
3 years longer
Wichita
Mobile
Chattanooga
Birmingham
Today
The average person in ...
lives...
This means residents of...
36 million life years
22 million life years
20 million life years
LA
CHI
NY
have gained...
Total US life-years gained:
336
million years
Phoenix
Globally, pollution is still cutting lives short
<10
20 - 30
30 - 40
40 - 50
50 +
PM 2.5 (micrograms per cubic meter)
10 micrograms per cubic meter is the World Health Organization's standard for what is considered safe.
11 - 20
SOURCE: World Development Indicators - PM2.5 air pollution, 2015
Data Not Available
Population-Weighted PM 2.5 Exposure
NOTE: Data for Total Suspended Particulates, used previously for the US data, is not available worldwide. Instead, the figure reports for small particles, PM 2.5.