Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Air Pollution Could Kill 6.6 Million by 2050

Air contaminated with pollutants such as ozone and tiny particles could cause the premature death of about 6.6 million people a year by 2050 if nothing is done to improve air quality, the website Helpinus is reporting. 

A study published in the journal Nature today says that outdoor air pollution, a large amount of it caused by vehicles, already kills about 3.3 million people a year around the world. Air pollution deaths are most commonly from heart disease, strokes or the lung disease known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  It is also linked to deaths from lung cancer and acute respiratory infections.

So what is SRTC doing to try to keep this from happening? We have an Air Quality Planner on staff to make sure that projects we help to fund and support don't cause air quality issues. For instance, adding a traffic light or a turn lane at new locations causes cars to idle and emit pollution. While this generally isn't a major problem, in areas that already have air quality problems, it can be an issue. For more information on local air quality, including problem areas and what our Air Quality Planner looks for, check out our web page on Air Quality.

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About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.