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Population at risk of unhealthy PM2.5 levels in the U.S. 2018-2020

Number of Americans at risk of unhealthy levels of particle pollution in the United States between 2018 and 2020

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Release date

April 2022


United States

Survey time period

2018 to 2020

Special properties

Data from 932 counties

Supplementary notes

The majority of U.S. counties don’t have monitors — which means that many communities, especially rural ones, don’t have official monitored information on their air quality. Please note that the population figures in this statistic are only for those places that collect air pollution data, and do not reflect the entire population of these groups in the U.S. PM2.5 concentration information is for the three-year period for 2018-2020 for each monitoring site.

Grades are assigned based on the weighted averages as follows: A=0.0, B=0.3-0.9, C=1.0-2.0, D=2.1-3.2, F=3.3+. The concentration of a pollutant is based on the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for PM2.5, which is 12 µg/m3. Counties with design values of 12 or lower received a grade of “Pass” for Annual PM2.5. Counties with design values of 12.1 or higher received a grade of “Fail.”

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