The Air Quality In The USA infographic has a wide variety of information regarding the air quality index, or “AQI”, which is a measurement of the quality of the air in a given area. AQI readings are taken in over 1,000 locations everyday throughout the United States, and based on the Clean Air Act, the EPA reports that they regulate 187 air pollutants.
The infographic focuses on four major pollutants. These four major pollutants are ozone 3, carbon monoxide, particulates and sulfur dioxide. These four pollutants affect the respiratory systems and overall health of people who are breathing them in, and they are particularly harmful to those with lung diseases, those with respiratory issues, the young and seniors.
The Causes Of Air Pollutants
The causes of the air pollutants can vary depending on the particular pollutant. For example, carbon monoxide is mainly released by motor vehicles, and the EPA estimates that motor vehicles release around 75% of carbon monoxide that is in the atmosphere, and in urban areas, it can be as high as 95%.
Ozone 3, also known as “O3”, is very beneficial in the upper atmosphere; however, it can be a major air pollutant in the lower atmosphere.
Sulfur Dioxide is a major pollutant in industrial areas, and it can have very serious health effects. Sulfur dioxide is usually produced as a result of burning oil, coal and other industrial fuels.
Particulates can come from a wide variety of natural and man-made sources. Volcanoes, smoke stacks, power plants and auto paint shops can all generate particulates.
How The United States Is Doing When It Comes To Air Quality
When it comes to air quality, the United States is doing well overall. Our country is in the top 10 for having a low amount of particulates in our air overall, and this is an excellent rating. Based on this infographic and information reported by the EPA, there is still much more to be done to further improve the air quality of our country overall.