In Comparison to Other States, How Polluted Is Massachusetts? See where Massachusetts falls on the pollution scale compared to other states. Although Massachusetts scores well in air and water quality rankings, this does not mean that the state is free of pollution-related health issues.
Residents of the Bay State who celebrated Earth Day last week will be pleased to learn that the quality of their state’s water and air are among the best in the United States. A new study from QuoteWizard, an insurance quote website, found that Massachusetts is the fifth least-polluted state in the country.
The Study’s Findings About Massachusetts:
When it comes to the quality of its water supply, Massachusetts scored exceptionally well. According to the report, there were no cases of contaminated drinking water in the state in 2022.
Even though 12 other states have also accomplished this, they pale in comparison to places like New Jersey and West Virginia, where 8.9% and 10.2% of the population respectively were affected by drinking water violations last year.
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The survey indicated that Massachusetts ranked only 13th in the country for the number of days with “good” air quality. Last year, the air quality in the state was generally good for 90 percent of the year. California and Arizona, on the other hand, only had healthy air for 67% and 68% of the year, respectively.
Water Quality of Massachusetts:
According to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), Massachusetts has some of the strictest water quality standards in the world. MassDEP has mandated routine bacterial, lead, and heavy metal, herbicide, pesticide, and industrial solvent testing by all public water systems.
If contaminants are found in amounts that exceed federal requirements, water providers are required to warn their consumers and, if the issue cannot be addressed immediately, shut off the affected water supply.
MassDEP’s website details the statewide limits for dozens of pollutants in the state. In addition, if you live in Massachusetts and are concerned about the quality of your drinking water, the environmental research organization Environmental Working Group maintains a database of drinking water violations by the water suppliers.
Air Pollutant Levels in Massachusetts:
According to a study conducted by Boston College, air pollution was a contributing factor in the deaths of around 2,780 persons in Massachusetts in 2019. This includes victims of cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and stroke.
The study also linked air pollution to 15,386 cases of childhood asthma and 308 cases of infants born with low birth weight. All of these negative health effects occurred even though air quality in most of the state was well above EPA guidelines.
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The study’s findings are particularly striking because they hold true across demographic and socioeconomic lines: air pollution is a major contributor to health problems in every municipality in the state. However, it did find that the most economically and socially deprived communities had the highest rates.
The study concludes that greenhouse gas emissions are the primary cause of this issue. The study concluded that more than 95% of air pollution in Massachusetts is the consequence of burning fossil fuels.
Transportation, power plants, other industrial facilities, and household heating and cooking are the main contributors to these pollutants.
How to Improve Air Quality in Massachusetts Recommendations by Boston College:
Municipalities can improve their energy efficiency by switching to electric vehicles, installing solar panels on public buildings, giving preference to green electricity, banning gas hookups in new construction, and updating building codes.
The state government of Massachusetts should establish goals and timelines for cutting down on pollution levels. MassDEP needs to increase the number of air quality monitoring stations and issue an annual report on pollutant emissions.
Each county, city, and town in Massachusetts should have its own public dashboard on pollution-related disease and death. Visit IQAir’s air quality monitoring website to see the current air quality in your city.
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