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Health of the Air Report

The full report as published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society can be accessed using the button below.  Estimates for the number of excess mortality, excess morbidity, and number of impacted days is shown for each state in Table 1 of the full report.  A ranking of the 30 U.S. cities with the most potential health benefits to gain from meeting ATS standards is shown in Table 2 of the report.  For county level data on pollution concentrations and health estimates, see Table E3 in the supplementary data.

Summary

Estimates of the health impacts of air pollution are needed to make informed air quality management decisions at both the national and local levels. Using design values of ambient pollution concentrations from 2011–2013 as a baseline, the American Thoracic Society (ATS) and the Marron Institute of Urban Management estimated excess morbidity and mortality in the United States attributable to exposure to ambient ozone (O3) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) at levels above the American Thoracic Society–recommended standards. Within the subset of counties with valid design values for each pollutant, 14% had PM2.5 concentrations greater than the ATS recommendation, whereas 91% had O3 concentrations greater than the ATS recommendation. Approximately 9,320 excess deaths (69% from O3; 31% from PM2.5), 21,400 excess morbidities (74% from O3; 26% from PM2.5), and 19,300,000 adversely impacted days (88% from O3; 12% from PM2.5) in the United States each year are attributable to pollution exceeding the ATS-recommended standards. This report will be revised and updated regularly to help cities track their progress.