The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its annual report on air quality, tracking the country’s progress in improving air quality since the passage of the Clean Air Act.
The report, “Our Nation’s Air: Status and Trends Through 2017,” documents the considerable improvements in air quality across America over more than 45 years.
Between 1990 and 2017, average concentrations of harmful air pollutants decreased significantly:
- Sulfur dioxide (1-hour) ↓ 88 percent
- Lead (3-month average) ↓80 percent
- Carbon monoxide (8-hour) ↓ 77 percent
- Nitrogen dioxide (annual) ↓ 56 percent
- Fine Particulate Matter (24-hour) ↓ 40 percent
- Coarse Particulate Matter (24-hour) ↓ 34 percent and
- Ground-level ozone (8-hour) ↓ 22 percent