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Climate change is making it more dangerous for kids to play outside, report finds

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Hill or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: A recent study by First Street Foundation reveals that climate change-induced heat waves and wildfires are nullifying progress made in air quality in the U.S., predicting a return to 2004 pollution levels by mid-century
• This regression is attributed to increased levels of soot particles and ozone

🔭 The context: Since 1963, federal regulations have significantly improved U.S. air quality
• However, around 2016, the detrimental effects of climate change began to outweigh the benefits of these regulations, leading to an increase in unhealthy air days across all categories

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The deterioration in air quality affects human health and increases exposure to "unhealthy" air, particularly impacting the Western U.S. where ozone and particulate matter from wildfires and fossil fuels combine (learn about the causes of wildfires here)
• This scenario exacerbates public health issues and challenges efforts to mitigate climate change's impacts

⏭️ What's next: The study forecasts worsening air quality across the U.S., with significant impacts in cities like Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago
• This poses increased risks for "sensitive" populations, including the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions, highlighting the urgent need for addressing climate change and pollution sources

💬 One quote: "We’re wiping out two decades in air quality gains," (Jeremy Porter, coauthor of the study)

📈 One stat: The study indicates that PM2.5 pollution, primarily from wildfires, kills about 47,000 Americans annually, with overall poor air quality affecting over 83 million people in the U.S

Click for more news covering the latest on climate change

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