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August 10, 2016

Study: Philly air pollution above standard kills 126 people every year

A new study says air pollution in Philadelphia kills an estimated 126 people every year.

According to the study by the American Thoracic Society (ATS) and Marron Institute at New York University, Philly was the 15th deadliest city for air pollution in excess of ATS-recommended standards. The worst city, Los Angeles, has 1,341 deaths every year.

Pennsylvania was the second deadliest state behind California, according to the study which looked at air quality data measured nationwide from 2011–2013.

The report says Philadelphia could avoid 284 major morbidities, including acute myocardial infarction, chronic bronchitis, cardiovascular and respiratory hospital admissions, and emergency department visits, by following ATS-recommended standards.

Philly also has 232,031 impacted days including restricted activity days, acute respiratory symptom days, work loss days, and school loss days every year.

The American Thoracic Society, a professional organization representing more than 15,000 physicians, research scientists and other health professionals, regularly provides scientific recommendations to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The ATS-recommended standards for ozone and fine particulate matter are slightly more stringent than the current EPA standards.

For comparison, the report says the 9,320 deaths attributable to air pollution nationwide are close in number to 10,076, the number of alcohol-related traffic deaths that occurred in the United States in 2013.

If you live outside of Philadelphia, you can see how many deaths are caused each year in your area here.

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