Displaying items by tag: particulate matter
The Knox County Health Department reports that fine particles declined by half between 2007 and 2018. Ozone levels also remained below national standards during that period. The combined pollution reductions — achieved through tighter emissions standards on power plants and vehicles — have resulted in the cleanest air in Knox County since 1999, according to the Health Department.
Here’s a link to the full 2019 Knox County Community Health Assessment.
The lack of regional and local vehicle traffic during the pandemic greatly reduced measurable pollution in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
This is your Hellbender weekend read, and the first in an occasional Hellbender Press series about the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the natural world
Great Smoky Mountains National Park shut down for six weeks in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic. Recorded emissions reductions during that period in part illustrate the role motor vehicles play in the park's vexing air-quality issues. The full cascade of effects from the pollution reductions are still being studied.
Hellbender Press interviewed park air quality specialist Jim Renfro about the marked reduction of carbon dioxide and other pollutants documented during the park closure during the pandemic, and the special scientific opportunities it presents. He responded to the following questions via email.
Hellbender Press: You cited “several hundred tons" in pollutant reductions during an interview with WBIR of Knoxville (in 2020). What types of air pollutants does this figure include?
- great smoky mountains national park
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ScienceDirect: Global mortality from outdoor fine particle pollution generated by fossil fuel combustion
New report estimates 8.7 million premature deaths anually from fine particulate matter (PM2.5)
Fossil fuels are the major source of invisible airborne particles that cause disease and mortality.