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How Does Pollution in New York Compare to the Other States?


Pollution is a growing concern for many. It creates hazardous and unhealthy air, which can cause health concerns, especially for the young, senior citizens, and those with breathing problems or lung disease. New York is one of the top polluted cities in the U.S. Keep reading to find out more about the pollution in New York.

Building Air Pollution

The state of New York uses more fossil fuels in its buildings than any other state in the U.S. The buildings within New York City bear the responsibility for most of that consumption. The fuel burned for space and water heating is close to 40% of the greenhouse emissions in the city. The combustion of fuel in the buildings in the state causes negative health implications, including death in residents. It also contributes to poor air quality and causes smog and smoke. The air quality has long-ranging impacts. Many wineries have experienced losses due to smoke in recent years. The crop and stock insurance that they have are not enough to cover the losses, or the losses are not covered at all. If the wineries cannot satisfactorily prove the damage happened on or off the vine, insurance will not cover it.

Lead Poisoning

For a long time, the health risks in New York City related to lead have been well-known. Despite working hard to remove and eliminate lead from the city, it is still a significant health risk. Lead paint has been banned in residences since 1960, which was long before the national ban. Yet, lead exposure is still a problem. In 2004, a housing law intended to eliminate childhood lead poisoning in six years. In addition, it has been proven that exposure to lead impacts tests scores, ability to learn, memory, and fine motor skills. Despite all of these efforts, the percentage of children exposed to lead in New York City is higher than in any other city in the U.S.

Chemical Spills

The state of New York has a high number of accidental releases of chemical spills. These may include toxic chemicals, gases, and petroleum. Even the slightest release of these chemicals poses a danger to public health while contaminating soil, surface water, and groundwater. Most of these spills are caused by products with petroleum. However, there are many spills with multiple hazardous, in some cases, unknown substances. These spills can contain sewage and cooking grease.

The environmental and health damage as a result of these spills depends on the material and contamination. Small spills that are caught quickly can be cleaned up without a large amount of damage to the environment. Despite there being almost 125 oil rigs in operation in The Gulf of Mexico, New York has more spills. Larger spills release toxic material in the soil and groundwater, which makes water unsafe for drinking. Vapors can buildup in houses, causing explosions and fire hazards. Spills in the water that are not contained can kill fish, plants, and wildlife while damaging their habitats.

Plastic Bottles

New York has a large amount of plastic bottle use because people prefer to drink bottled water. There is a lot of plastic bottle pollution because of the high use of disposable water bottles. They use fossil fuels to make the plastic and then to transport the full bottles to the places where they need to go. Ultimately, more than half the bottles end up in landfills, which adds to pile-up of trash.

The pollution in New York is the highest of all the cities in the U.S. despite all of their efforts to help reduce or eliminate the amount of pollution. The best way to help reduce pollution is to understand what causes it.