Thursday, July 07, 2005

Summer Smog Update

Here are some details on smog episodes this summer across the U.S. These results are unofficial and are based on a survey by Clean Air Watch volunteers of public websites.

States that have had monitored readings in 2005 above federal health standards include, in alphabetical order:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

The survey found 941 monitored exceedances of the 8-hr standard in June 2005, compared to 329 in June 2004. (June 2004 was cooler and rainier in much of the nation, and the rain washed out much of the pollution. The 2005 results demonstrate that we can't depend on rain to protect us from pollution.)

San Bernardino, California appears to have the most frequent smog problem (23 days at one monitor). The highest one-hour smog levels have been experienced in Los Angeles, Houston and Fairfield, CT.

Vacation spots with pollution problems in June included:

Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks, CA
Joshua Tree National Park, CA
Death Valley National Park, CA
Zion National Park, UT
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN/NC Acadia National Park, ME, Mt. Vernon, VA Cap Cod (Truro), MA Martha's Vineyard, MA The Adirondacks, NY (Whiteface Mtn.)

And the problems continue into July -- on July first the Grand Canyon had pollution above the smog standard.

Regarding new studies (in the July issue of Epidemiology) that smog can kill, here's an insightful commentary by renowned air pollution researcher David Bates: http://www.epidem.com/pt/re/epidemiology/pdfhandler.00001648-200507000-00002.pdf;jsessionid=CNREtkRVTT0cPt7TIMsnRrvGSfzA7ca7ofGcwAMTHeCK8Q7rx0Bx!1707623050!-949856031!9001!-1

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