A new study shows it may not be easy to avoid air pollution just by moving. Researchers found about half the early deaths in the U.S. attributed to air pollution happened in states where the pollution did not originate. In some instances,the polluted air traveled hundreds of miles.
States in the Midwest are most likely to produce pollution that blows into other states. Those in the Northeast are most likely to inherit pollution produced elsewhere.
Until 2018, most of the air pollution linked to human deaths was caused by power generation. Now, commercial and residential emissions have become the biggest contributors.
The number of premature deaths from cross-state air pollution is on the decline. The rate fell 12% between 2005 and 2018. Scientists say that’s due to lower emissions from electric power generation.