Ever since the Clean Air Act was passed in 1970, the air quality in America has improved dramatically. Subsequent amendments to the law and newer policies, like regulations on vehicle emissions and the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, have also reduced air pollution. The result? Since 2010, mortality associated with particulate matter, which can lead to a myriad of health issues, has dropped by 60 percent. Whereas the annual number of premature deaths from air pollution stood at 12,600 in 2010, that number was 7,140 in 2017.
That’s a massive improvement, one that shows us just how powerful stricter regulations can be for our health, and the health of the environment. For more on the quality of air within the US, have a look here.