That’s a win, and shows a marked improvement from the middle part of the 20th century, when smog levels were an extreme risk to health.
Why did smog levels get better?Smog levels have improved because of stricter laws and regulatory powers that have forced businesses, regardless of the economic consequences, to reduce smog output to the environment.
What’s especially interesting about these laws is how long ago they were passed. Richard Nixon signed the Clean Air Act in 1970, and the law was last amended in 1990. If you’re old enough to remember, you might also remember that there have been no significant air-quality laws passed since that time.
The sheer amount of time since those laws have been put into force, combined with new environmental threats and data that have since come to light, have moved some to call for new regulations that target not only smog, but also the greenhouse gases that are currently a problem.
So we’re good, right?No, we’re not. While smog levels have been steadily decreasing since the 1970s, greenhouse-gas levels in the atmosphere have been steadily increasing. The gases, which are believed by many to contribute to global warming, are not clearly regulated by the authority given EPA, as are smog levels.
What can I do to help?It may seem that there is little that any one person can do; passing new regulations is a daunting process in the U.S., and of course, regulations require compliance before any good is achieved. But there are things that can be done by individuals, especially if you own, manage or maintain an industrial facility that produces any kind of harmful air emissions.
Simply put, the greatest good can come from reducing emissions of smog-forming particulates and greenhouse-gases into the atmosphere. To that end, make it your goal to know and comply with the air regulations that are appropriate to your industry. Installing and maintaining a proper dust and/or mist collection system that’s appropriately sized for your facility goes a long way toward making that happen.
In addition to the EPA, there are other regulating bodies that help to control dust in U.S. workplaces, including the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). Following the regulations of OSHA and the EPA result in a double win, since air both inside and outside the facility will be clean, and your employees will be in a safer, healthier environment. Complying with dust, fume and mist collection regulations by means of a proper collection system improves your overall sustainability, and in some cases, your bottom line.
So do your research, stay compliant, and you’ll have a share in keeping the air clean, not only in the U.S., but throughout the world.