- Journal Article
Summary (MIT News): More than half of all air-quality-related early deaths in the United States are a result of emissions originating outside of the state in which those deaths occur, MIT researchers report in the journal Nature. The study focuses on the years between 2005 and 2018 and tracks combustion emissions of various polluting compounds from various sectors, looking at every state in the contiguous United States, from season to season and year to year. In general, the researchers find that when air pollution is generated in one state, half of that pollution is lofted into the air and carried by winds across state boundaries, to affect the health quality of out-of-state residents and increase their risk of early death. Electric power generation is the greatest contributor to out-of-state pollution-related deaths, the findings suggest. In 2005, for example, deaths caused by sulfur dioxide emitted by power plant smokestacks occurred in another state in more than 75 percent of cases.