New Report Finds ENC Communities Experience Air Pollution

Jan 31, 2020

Air pollution is not just a concern for urban areas.  A new report from Environment North Carolina released this week finds that rural areas like Eastern North Carolina experience ozone and particulate pollution as well.  According to the report titled “Trouble in the Air: Millions of Americans Breathed Pollution in 2018”, the main sources of pollution that contribute to ozone and particulate pollution in North Carolina include transportation, electricity generation, industrial processes, wildfires, and other human activities. The report adds that climate change will exaserbate the current air quality problems.  The data, which was compiled using Environmental Protection Agency air pollution records from across the country, also showed how many days residents in North Carolina cities were exposed to poor air quality.  Greenville experienced 31 days of elevated levels of ozone in 2018, while Kinston had 29 days of elevated ozone levels, Rocky Mount had 24 days of elevated ozone levels, and Morehead City had 19 days of elevated ozone levels.  Greenville was the only metropolitan area in Eastern North Carolina with elevated levels of partical pollution (two days).  Ozone and particle pollution can cause serious health effects including lung cancer, asthma attacks, cardiovascular damage, and premature death.