Monday October 23, 2017

40 percent of Americans live in counties with unhealthy levels of particle Air Pollution: Report

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Air pollution is seen hanging over the city of Los Angeles. Six of the 10 cities with the worst air pollution are in California, according to a new report. (Flickr) VOA

April 19, 2017: A new report says 40 percent of Americans live in counties with unhealthy levels of particle air pollution.

The annual “State of the Air” report, released Wednesday by the American Lung Association, also found that six of the 10 cities with the worst air pollution were in California.

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The report found that 125 million Americans experience unhealthy levels of pollution, which has been linked to lung cancer, asthma and cardiovascular damage.

“While most of the nation has much cleaner air quality than even a decade ago, many cities reported their highest number of unhealthy days since the report began [18 years ago],” the report read.

The 10 worst cities for short-term particle air pollution were Bakersfield, Calif., Visalia-Porterville-Hanford, Calif., Fresno-Madera, Calif., Modesto-Merced, Calif., Fairbanks, Ala., San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, Calif., Salt Lake City-Provo-Orem, Utah, Logan, Utah-Idaho, Los Angeles-Long Beach, Calif. and Reno-Carson City-Fernley, Nev.

California’s air quality issues are a result of a growing population and its numerous valleys that allow polluted air to settle, the report said. The high number of sunny days in Southern California also boost ozone levels, the report said, adding that the state would be in worse shape were it not for strict auto emission regulations as well as limiting coal-fired power plants.

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The cities with the worst year-round particle air pollution were Visalia-Porterville-Hanford, Calif., Bakersfield, Calif., Fresno-Madera, Calif., San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, Calif., Los Angeles-Long Beach, Calif., Modesto-Merced, Calif., El Centro, Calif., Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton, Pa.-Ohio-W.Va., Cleveland-Akron-Canton, Ohio and San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, Calif.

Just six cities recorded no days of unhealthy levels of pollution: Burlington, Vt.; Honolulu; Wilmington, N.C.; Fort Myers / Naples, Fla.; Melbourne, Fla., and Elmira, N.Y.

The report said that year-round levels of air pollution have improved, but shorter term spikes of very polluted air have risen.

“Even with continued improvement, too many people in the United States live where the air is unhealthy for them to breathe,” the report said.

The report used data from states, cities, counties, tribes and federal agencies from 2013 to 2015. (VOA)

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Now Breathe Homely Fresh Air: List of Indoor Air Purifying Plants | Newsgram

Here is a list of 'Indoor air purifying plants'

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Indoor air purifying plants'
Indoor air purifying plants. Pixabay

Sep 15, 2017: Throughout the years, air pollution has advanced as one of the risks to humanity and nature. In such a grim scene, one needs Indoor air purifying plants to breathe fresh air.

We as a whole need to move to metro urban areas for better life and profession however because of expanding air pollution, living in such urban areas is fatal. Air pollution causes breathing issue, heart, kidney and liver ailments. Playing it safe can spare us from these ailments caused by air pollution.

There are different plants which can enhance indoor air quality and can even battle cancer causing pollutants.

Below is a list of ‘Indoor air purifying plants’

Spider Plant

Indoor Air Purifying Plants
Spider Plant. Pixabay

Spider plant carries out photosynthesis to a great extent due to which it can purify the air and release fresh air regularly. The plant absorbs nicotine from cigarette smoke and decomposes other carcinogens like benzene.

 

 Asparagus (Shatavari)

Indoor Air Purifying Plants
Asparagus Plant. Pixabay

Asparagus is also known as Shatavari, has many advantages from women’s health to curing nervous disorders. The plant is demonstrated as an astonishing air purifier. The scent of asparagus eliminates microscopic organisms and infections.

Indoor Air Purifying Plants

Aloe Vera

Indoor Air Purifying Plants
Aloe Vera. Pixabay

You must be aware health and beauty benefits of aloe vera, however, do you realize that one pot of this plant is equivalent to natural air cleaners? This plant gives you clean air by absorbing harmful gasses like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde. Keeping this plant four hours in the daylight can dispose of 90% of formaldehyde in 1 square meter of air.

Holy Basil (Tulsi)

Indoor Air Purifying Plants
Holy Basil. Pixabay

Tulsi is one of the best indoor plants for purifying the air. It gives out oxygen for four hours per day which ingests harmful gasses like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide from the earth. This plant is additionally utilized as a mosquito repellent. It has various therapeutic advantages as well.

Indoor Air Purifying Plants

Snake Plant

Indoor Air Purifying Plants
Snake Plant. Pixabay

Snake plant can flourish in low light and sticky conditions so you can place it in your restroom as it will help clean air pollutants. You can also place it in your room as it ingests carbon dioxide and discharges oxygen during the evening.

Gerbera Daisy

Indoor Air Purifying Plants
Gerbera Daisy. Pixabay

This splendid, blossoming plant is successful at expelling trichloroethylene. Add this plant to your room so it can keep the air fresh.

Indoor Air Purifying Plants

 Dragon Tree

Indoor Air Purifying Plants
Dragon Tree. Pixabay

This plant is a prominent choice for office spaces and homes for its alluring look. It absorbs xylene – a substance discharged from fumes, paints, and cigarettes.

Garden Mum

Indoor Air Purifying Plants
Garden Mum. Pixabay

The vivid blooms of this plant can light up the home. This plant is an air-cleaning winner.

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These 3 Blooming Flowers Will Bring Positive Aura To Your Home! 

Here is why Flowers in Hinduism regarded as Symbol of Piousness and Serenity!


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‘Humans Have Caused Pollution and Humans Can Fix It too’, Says UN Environment Head; Asserts Asia Must Lead Efforts for a Pollution-Free Earth

World Health Organization figures show Asia has 25 of the world's 30 most-polluted cities in terms of fine particles in the air that pose the greatest risks to human health

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Asia-Pacific
People wear protective masks during a polluted day in Shanghai (VOA)

Bangkok, September 9, 2017 : Asia-Pacific — home to more than half the world’s population and some of its fastest-growing economies — is a key battleground in the fight against pollution, one of the biggest threats to the planet and its people, the U.N. environment chief said.

An estimated 12 million people die prematurely each year because of unhealthy environments, 7 million of them due to air pollution alone, making pollution “the biggest killer of humanity,” Erik Solheim told the first Asia-Pacific Ministerial Summit on the Environment in Bangkok this week.

ALSO READ Air Pollution expected to Cause 60,000 Deaths in 2030 and 2,60,000 in 2100 Globally: Study

Humans have caused pollution and humans can fix it, said Solheim, executive director of UN Environment, in an interview with Reuters at the four-day summit.

“The struggle for a pollution-free planet will be won or lost in Asia — nowhere else,” said the former Norwegian minister for environment and international development.

The sheer size of Asia-Pacific, as well as its continued economic growth, put it at the heart of the challenge, he added.

The region’s development has been accompanied by worsening pollution of its air, water and soil. Its emissions of planet-warming carbon dioxide doubled between 1990 and 2012, and the use of resources such as minerals, metals and biomass has tripled, according to the United Nations.

Asia-Pacific
A man carries a sack of vegetables as he walks past a polluted canal littered with plastic bags and other garbage, in Mumbai. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool) (VOA)

World Health Organization figures also show Asia has 25 of the world’s 30 most-polluted cities in terms of fine particles in the air that pose the greatest risks to human health. The pollution comes largely from the combustion of fossil fuels, mostly for transport and electricity generation.

Solheim said Asia is also a major contributor of plastic polluting the world’s oceans — and solutions can be found in the region. He pointed to a huge beach cleanup campaign in Mumbai that inspired Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to overhaul the country’s waste management system.

“There’s enormous environmental opportunity,” Solheim said. “Asia has by and large strong governments, and they have the ability to fix problems.”

Coal no longer king?

Solheim said fighting pollution by moving toward renewable energy sources such as wind and solar would also benefit efforts to curb climate change, which scientists say is stoking more deadly heatwaves, floods and sea-level rise around the world.

But environmentalists worry that Asia’s demand for coal, the most polluting of the major fossil fuels, is likely to grow for years to come.

Figures from a forum organized by the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center in Singapore earlier this year show that some 273 gigawatts of coal power are still being built, although much more has been put on hold.

In July, analysts told Reuters that Japan, China and South Korea are bank-rolling coal-fired power plants in Indonesia despite their pledges to reduce planet-warming emissions under the Paris climate deal.

Asia-Pacific
Workers operate machines at a coal mine at Palaran district in Samarinda, Indonesia (VOA)

The landmark 2015 Paris Agreement seeks to limit the rise in average world temperatures to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times. Experts say curbing or ending the use of coal is required if this goal is to be reached.

Globally, many countries — including China — are shutting down or suspending plans for coal-fired power plants as costs for wind and solar power plummet.

Solheim is optimistic, noting that the International Energy Agency significantly raised its five-year growth forecast for renewables led by China, India, the United States and Mexico.

“There are very, very few people in the world who believe that the future is coal,” he said. “I think we will see the shift [to renewables] happening much faster than people tend to believe.”

ALSO READ Paris climate pact: The play of words

On U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull his nation out of the Paris Agreement, Solheim sees a silver lining.

“The surprising judgment of history may be that Donald Trump did a lot of service to this fight against climate change by withdrawing, because he galvanized the reaction of everyone else,” said Solheim.

“All the big, iconic companies of modern capitalism — Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon — they immediately said, ‘We will move into the green economy.'” (VOA)

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Recent Poll Reveals that 67% Americans Receive their News from Social Media

While Facebook still dwarfs other social media sites in terms of news dissemination, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube made strong gains in the number of people using the sites for news over the course of the last year

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Social Media
Social Media is the source of news for 67% Americans. Wikimedia

September 08, 2017: A full 67 percent of Americans now report receiving at least a portion of their news from social media, according to a new poll released Thursday.

The Pew Research poll showed a small increase since early 2016, when 62 percent of people said they relied on social media for some of their news. The overall change isn’t particularly substantial, but among some demographics, social media use increased significantly.

Also Read: Children’s Commissioner for England Warns against Overuse of Social Media among Children

Among non-white U.S. adults, 74 percent now say they get news from social media, marking a 10-percent increase over last year when 64 percent said they did. Similarly, among those aged 50 or older, the percentage who said they receive news from social media rose by 10 percent from 2016 to 55 percent.

While Facebook still dwarfs other social media sites in terms of news dissemination, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube made strong gains in the number of people using the sites for news over the course of the last year.

“Looking at the population as a whole, Facebook by far still leads every other sites as a source of news. This is largely due to Facebook’s large user base, compared with other platforms, and the fact that most of its users get news on the site,” the report reads.

Twitter showed a 15-percent increase in the number of users who said that’s where they get their news, from 59 percent in 2016 to 74 percent in 2017. The number of YouTube users who get news from the site rose from 21 percent in 2016 to 32 percent in 2017. Snapchat showed a 12-percent gain, from 17 percent in 2016 to 29 percent in 2017. (IANS)