Atlanta Air Quality Index (AQI) and Georgia Air Pollution

What is smog in the Atlanta metro area?

Smog is a combination of pollutants, including ozone and particle befoulment, that contribute to reduced visibility. To better understand smog in Atlanta, it ’ sulfur important to understand each of these pollution components .
ozone is a highly reactive, highly irritating natural gas atom composed of three oxygen atoms. Unlike the majority of federally measured air out pollutants, which are emitted from respective sources of combustion, ozone is formed in the breeze from the being of other pollutants reacting under sunlight .
When breathed in, ozone attacks the lungs by chemically reacting with lung weave, causing health complications ranging from a cough and difficulty breathe to respiratory infections and premature end .
According to the 2020 State of the Air report published by the American Lung Association, Atlanta is rated an “ F ” for ozone pollution.1 Fulton county, of which Atlanta is the county seat, has failed to meet ozone attainment levels since at least 1996.

Federal ozone targets are formatted as a phone number of days that exceed healthy levels. Orange days describe conditions between AQI 101 and 150, while crimson days describe conditions when AQI is between 151 and 200. Both unhealthy ozone days require hot temperatures and relatively dead air .
Atlanta breeze quality tends to average 40 ‘ code orange ’ days a year.2 On these insalubrious ozone days, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) estimate that there is a 35 percentage addition in hospital visits for respiratory-related illnesses, chiefly among those categorized as “ sensitive ” to air pollution. sensitive individuals include children, the aged, and those with preexistent respiratory conditions. In Fulton county, this includes an estimate 90,736 people with pediatric or pornographic asthma, 57,077 with COPD, 68,893 with cardiovascular disease, 229,407 children under the age of 18, and 122,730 adults over the historic period of 65 .
likely indicative of Georgia ozone challenges, 12 percentage of the state of matter ’ sulfur children suffer from asthma, closely 50 percentage higher the national average.3
For fine particle befoulment, another pollutant of key concern in the area, Atlanta publicize quality receives a pass grade of “ B. ” Particle pollution is a mix of ash, carbon black, diesel consume, chemicals, metals, and aerosols that are near microscopic in size. These particles can burrow deep within the lungs, triggering health concerns including asthma, difficulty breathe, and respiratory aggravation adenine well as heart attacks, strokes, and lung cancer. While Atlanta has met federal attainment levels for annual and 24-hour PM2.5, 2019 go steady increases in both measures. Its passing grade for annual PM2.5 exposure was achieved by a bantam 0.1 μg/m³ gross profit. In 2019, Atlanta averaged a PM2.5 floor of 11.9 μg/m³ ( the federal target is 12 μg/m³ ). The city meanwhile fails to meet the more rigorous World Health Organization ( WHO ) aim for annual PM2.5 exposure of 10 μg/m³ .
In 2019, Atlanta particle contamination was comparable to, but slightly worse than, more notoriously contaminated Bakersfield, California ( 11.3 µg/m³ ) and Baltimore, Maryland ( 11.2 µg/m³ ). such comparison draws attention to the frequently dominate terror of Atlanta ’ s particle air pollution .
In Atlanta, smog and periods of raise particle and ozone befoulment tend to coincide in the summer, much reaching dangerous levels. In 2019, Atlanta air quality index levels reached their highest levels from May through September. Each calendar month in this 5-month time period received an AQI rat of “ mince, ” exceeding federal standards .

What causes air pollution in Atlanta?

When it comes to clean air out, Atlanta gets an “ F ” for ozone pollution. ozone is referred to as a “ secondary ” pollutant because it is not emitted directly but rather formed when two chief pollutants, nitrogen oxides ( NOx ) and explosive organic compounds ( VOCs ), react in sunlight .
In Atlanta, tune contamination sources for nitrogen oxides primarily include mobile vehicular emissions ( 67 percentage ), fuel burning ( non-vehicular, 18 percentage ), industrial processes ( 5 percentage ) and fires ( 4 percentage ) .4 Sources of fickle organic compounds, on the other hand, primarily include releases from plants and animals ( 84 percentage ) and mobile vehicular emissions ( 6 percentage ). Both primary pollutants can additionally be transported by wreathe from neighboring cities and states .
Since ozone is a gas formed in the publicize from precursor pollutants with a range of sources, it is relatively difficult to manage. The increased prevalence of sunlight and hotness in the summer results in increase ozone levels in Atlanta summer months. This course is common across cities in the northerly hemisphere .
Atlanta is a quickly growing city, sprawling with development and alike grow in vehicles on the road and distances traveled. By 2050, it is estimated that the population will increase by a whack 51 percentage, adding 2.9 million people.5 With this fantastic growth comes increases in emission sources by manner of construction, traffic, personal emissions, and budding industry .
soon, car and truck tailpipe emissions bear the blame for Atlanta ozone due to this source ’ sulfur significant impingement on the prevalence of nitrogen dioxide, a key ozone precursor pollutant .

How much air pollution comes from cars in Atlanta?

Cars are responsible for a significant amount of Atlanta publicize pollution. specifically, vehicle emissions account for 71 percentage of airborne run ( Pb ), 67 percentage of nitrogen dioxide ( NO2 ), 57 percentage of carbon dioxide ( CO ), 6 percentage of volatile constituent compounds ( VOCs ), 5 percentage of fine particulate count ( PM2.5 ), and 2 percentage of coarse particulate matter ( PM10 ).

Since vehicular emissions are the leading lawsuit of nitrogen dioxide befoulment in Atlanta, this emission source is frequently blamed for Atlanta ozone challenges .
According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Atlanta ranks 2nd nationally for most air befoulment from motor vehicles. This may be of little storm considering that Atlanta is well known for its traffic and city sprawl .
Atlantans drive upwards of 100 million miles a day – the average daily commute of residents is 34.2 miles, the fourth-highest daily driving distance in the nation. Commuters much lose up to 60 hours a year sitting in dealings. When cars idle in traffic, they continue to emit air befoulment .
Shifts towards cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles, such as electric and hybrid vehicles, offer an opportunity for Atlanta to drive down air befoulment levels further. In 2015, Georgia quashed tax credits for electric vehicles, resulting in a 90 percentage reduction in electric car registrations and emphasizing the importance of the state in promoting such new technology.6 recently, the switch towards electric vehicles has begun to win bipartisan confirm. This transformation is important for the state to take military action to clean up atmosphere quality in Atlanta angstrom well as vent quality in other congested cities in the express .
An increase in public transport offers another avenue. It is estimated that stream public theodolite reduces the meter people spend in traffic by equally much as 32 percentage. Growing this trope further could be possible with increased handiness of public theodolite routes and more city sidewalks .

Why is Atlanta air quality bad today?

Atlanta air out quality may suffer for a diverseness of different reasons, varying day to day. Trends unwrap common exacerbating factors that provide insights to source moderation and exposure reduction .
A combination of ozone and fine particle befoulment ( PM2.5 ) most frequently harass Atlanta air quality. Atlanta live air choice data is displayed prominently at the exceed of this foliate. The “ main pollutant ” field indicates the pollutant presently at the highest or riskiest grade. This pollutant ’ sulfur measurement dictates the overall AQI score. When PM2.5 is listed as the independent pollutant, this may be indicative mood of nearby fires or forest burn, debris from construction bodily process, or diligence and traffic. When ozone befoulment is the main pollutant, this is frequently indicative of high gear temperatures, stagnant air, and the prevalence of harbinger pollutants from vehicles, industry, and neighboring cities and states .
Both measures experience heightened levels in the summer. For ozone befoulment, this drift is unsurprising, as sunlight is required for the pollutant ’ randomness formation. Particle befoulment may besides be elevated during these months as a consequence of increased build cool, car idle, and construction projects .
Use Atlanta prognosis breeze quality data to plan ahead and take precautionary measures to reduce your contamination exposure throughout the year .

Is air quality better on the westside of Atlanta?

Atlanta air timbre varies across the city, with the westside much experiencing cleaner air quality than the east. This course can be partially understood by the city ’ s geography .
Air befoulment tends to disproportionately affect groups of lower socioeconomic status.7 This correlation is the result of industry and certain city features that are major sources of air out pollution, such as major roadways, airports, and industrial complexes, being intentionally situated near low-income neighborhoods and house.

The inequitable environmental charge placed on lower income groups affects a large share of racial minorities. These populations not only suffer poorer vent quality but besides poorer health as a consequence. A study conducted on demographic inequities and health outcomes in the Atlanta area found that neighborhoods of lower socioeconomic status, such as those in the east side of Atlanta, have a higher preponderance of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases as a result of increased vent pollution exposure. 7 These disparities should be addressed in order to promote the health and prosperity across the city .
Use the Atlanta tune quality map to observe hyperlocal changes in contamination levels. Air choice monitor in the east Atlanta sphere is presently lacking. Insights driven by artificial intelligence are presently providing the only snapshot to breeze quality in east Atlanta. Crowd-sourced data can offer an opportunity to better meter and wield air out befoulment levels in east Atlanta in the future. Learn how to become a subscriber of measured air contamination data .
+ Article Resources

[ 1 ] American Lung Association. ( 2020 ). state of the air out – 2020.
[ 2 ] Southern Environmental Law Center. ( 2005 ). Facing the facts about Atlanta ’ s air quality.
[ 3 ] Miller A. ( 2012, May 23 ). asthma numbers blue — particularly for kids.
[ 4 ] Air Georgia. ( 2020 ). Ambient air monitoring program.
[ 5 ] Atlanta Regional Commission. ( 2020 ). population and employment forecasts.
[ 6 ] Berman B. ( 2019, December 18 ). Meet the Georgia Republican politician pushing intemperate for EVs.
[ 7 ] Servadio J, et alabama. ( 2019 ). demographic inequities in health outcomes and air out contamination photograph in the Atlanta sphere and its relationship to urban infrastructure. department of the interior : 10.1007/s11524-018-0318-7

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Category : Healthy