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: Meet our Air Quality Evangelists for February!
Houseplants 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.
Find out more about household plants that can improve your indoor air quality
On 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.
Find out more about the state of the air in the U.S.
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. Read more about dead zones and water pollution