A new report shows that climate change could mean more ozone smog and increased production of allergenic pollen, amplifying asthma attacks and respiratory allergies for one in three American adults and children. These negative health impacts are expected to worsen if air pollution continues unchecked.
The report lists the top 50 cities with both high levels of ozone smog and ragweed pollen production. While Richmond, Virginia ranks as the worst, the report identifies that the “most vulnerable regions nationally are the Los Angeles Basin, the region around St. Louis, the Great Lakes area, the MidAtlantic States, and New England.” Business and educational productivity are at stake, with an estimated 3.8 million work and school days missed each year.
To protect communities from these health impacts of climate change, local leaders and policymakers must act to minimize the sources of air pollution from industrial facilities, electric power plants, and motor vehicles. The Clean Power Plan is a major step forward to fight climate change and to reduce emissions that create ground-level ozone, with the ultimate goal of helping to create better air quality conditions for Americans today, and a cooler, healthier environment for generations to come.
By Tammie Smith | Richmond Times-Dispatch | May 13, 2015
Richmond is the “sneeziest and wheeziest” city in the nation according to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group warning that climate change is increasing ground level ozone and causing shorter winters and longer ragweed growing seasons.
Richmond tops the list in part because it has also been at the top of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s “allergy capitals” list for two years in a row, said Juan Declet-Barreto, climate and health research fellow at the Council and co-author of the report , “Sneezing and Wheezing: How Climate Change Could Increase Ragweed Allergies, Air Pollution and Asthma.”
Here are the ten worst cities, according to the report.