Identifying Sources of Deadly Air Pollution in the United States


A new study from University of Minnesota researchers provides an unprecedented look at the causes of poor air quality in the United States and its effects on human health.

The research, published Wednesday in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters, finds that air pollution from sources in the United States leads to 100,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. About half of these deaths are from burning fossil fuels, but researchers also identified less obvious sources of lethal pollution.

“People usually think of power plants and cars, but nowadays, livestock and wood stoves are as big of a problem. It’s also our farms and our homes.” said Sumil Thakrar, postdoctoral research associate in the Departments of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering and Applied Economics.

The researchers found that while some sectors of the economy, such as electricity production and transportation, have reduced pollution amid government regulations, others have received less attention, including agriculture and residential buildings.

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