This story just ran in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer yesterday about smog in Seattle violating the Clean Air Act for the first time since the 1990s. The article makes a good point that this doesn’t mean that smog is suddenly getting worse, but the EPA has tightened its regulations based on new studies about the health effects of smog. It’s a problem exacerbated by intense heat like we had last weekend (I noticed a smog alert while I was down in Portland as well).
In light of these recent alerts and violations, I was reminded of a visual we put together a while ago depicting smog patterns in the Puget Sound area. Check it out (click here or on the image to see the flash version):
Georgie Bright Kunkel
For years our area of West Seattle has experienced terrible air quality when at night the winds don’t come up and clean everything out. Especially when living next to busy streets there is no way to avoidthe polluted air when people insist on driving everywhere.We have put dependence upon our cars before a healthy lifestyle. I am a culprit along with all the others in the city. Just as I got my cataract operation so I could keep driving, now I realize that I should be taking the bus. Living near streets polluted with car exhaust lessens the lifespan. Fortunately, I don’t smoke so I balance out the equation but I am still at risk living in the overcrowded city.