Christopher Loughner Authors Paper Quantifying Health, Economic Impacts of Air Pollution Emissions Controls

February 2020

ARL’s Dr. Christopher Loughner is the lead author of “The benefits of lower ozone due to air pollution emission reductions (2002-2011) in the Eastern US during extreme heat,” which appeared in this month’s issue of the Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association. In it, Dr. Loughner and his co-authors demonstrate that Americans are breathing cleaner air thanks to air pollution emissions controls put into place since 2002.

Air pollution regulations gave rise to historical air pollution emissions reductions from 2002 to 2011, resulting in improved air quality, improved human health and lives saved, and provided economic savings due to reductions in mortality and morbidity. The hottest month on record in Maryland, July 2011, was used to quantify these impacts. Research concluded that, for this singular month, emissions reductions:

  • Prevented a number of ozone exceedance days
  • 10-15 in the Ohio River Valley
  • 5-10 in the Mid-Atlantic
  • Resulted in less hospital emissions in the Eastern U.S.
  • 950 less for respiratory symptoms
  • 570 less for asthma symptoms
  • 370 less for pneumonia
  • Saved between 160-800 lives in the Eastern U.S.
  • Resulted in 922,020 less minor restricted activity days
  • Resulted in 430,240 less symptoms of asthma exacerbation
  • Saved $1.3 – $6.5 billion.

For more about Loughner and this paper, please visit his NOAA Research Scientist Profile.

Photo of Dr. Loughner. Somewhat close-up, head and torso.
Dr. Christopher Loughner. Credit: NOAA