Simple Ways to Get Involved with Air Quality Awareness Week

trafficNo matter how hard we try, we all contribute to air pollution. Air Quality Awareness Week highlights a few ways we can all help make our air cleaner–and recognize how air quality affects our overall health.

The EPA offers a few simple ways to get involved, and most involve reducing smog—one of the main ways we contribute to air pollution.

Give one or two of their suggestions a try–you may even start doing them regularly. Continue reading…

February Air Quality Evangelists

February may be a short month, but there was no shortage of intriguing air quality posts! A wide-range of articles from around the world made this month’s Air Quality Evangelists list—and they’re some of our most diverse choices ever. Check out our favorite blog posts and learn a few tips to keep you healthy indoors and out: Continue reading…

Research Reveals Houseplants Improve Indoor Air Quality

Houseplants Improve Indoor Air QualityHouseplants are a great way to add color and life to a room, but did you know that some houseplants can actually improve your indoor air quality? Research published in 1989 by NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA)—now known as PLANET (Professional Landcare Network)—revealed that common household plants can help remove harmful indoor air contaminants including formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene.
Continue reading…

American Lung Association’s 2010 State of the Air Report

Smog Surrounding Los AngelesOn April 28, the American Lung Association released the bittersweet findings from its State of the Air 2010 report. Many cities in the eastern and midwestern United States—including Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, New York City, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Washington DC/Baltimore—have lowered their levels of deadly particle and ozone pollution thanks to cleaner diesel fuels and engines, as well as reduced emissions from coal-fired power plants. Unfortunately, more than 175 million people (that’s more than 58 percent of the population) still live in areas where pollution levels are often too dangerous to breathe. Some cities, primarily in California, have even experienced an increase in air pollution since the last report.
Continue reading…

The Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico

Last month I blogged about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a vortex of garbage in the Pacific Ocean that’s twice the size of the continental United States. Today I’d like to explore another major environmental catastrophe in our oceans: dead zones.

Dead zones are areas in the ocean that lack the oxygen needed to support marine life. The Gulf of Mexico contains a dead zone that’s nearly the size of New Jersey, according to CNN.

“There’s no oxygen in the water for shrimp, crabs, fish to live,” said Nancy Rabalais, executive director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium. Continue reading…