A recent report from the Washington Department of Ecology delved into health data for 16 burdened areas in the state, revealing a higher death rate from air pollution compared to the state average. Under the Climate Commitment Act, the report foresees a doubled likelihood of older adults in these communities succumbing to health conditions linked to fine particles (PM2.5). The analysis spanning 2016 to 2020 indicates an average life expectancy 2.4 years lower for residents in these areas, with Vancouver being one of the top cities.
The report also highlights elevated rates of chronic respiratory and cardiovascular conditions, affecting vulnerable populations facing air pollution along with social, economic, and environmental disparities. This initial report marks the beginning of a biennial series tracking progress in reducing outdoor air pollution, greenhouse gases, and improvements in human health for over 1.2 million people across multiple towns, communities, and neighborhoods. The Department of Ecology seeks input from affected individuals and is conducting a statewide survey at https://bit.ly/ecologyairsurvey.