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PHY1 Outdoor air quality: Percentage of children ages 0–17 living in counties with pollutant concentrations above the levels of the current air quality standards, 1999–2011

excel icon PHY1 Excel Table

Characteristic 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
One or more pollutants 74.9 76.1 76.2 75.8 77.3 73.6 75.7 72.2 73.3 68.6 57.9 66.7 65.8
Pollutant
Carbon monoxide — 8-hour standard 5.7 4.4 0.7 4.1 0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.1 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0
Lead — 3-month standard 2.3 1.6 2.1 1.2 1.6 1.2 1.6 1.2 5.0 5.0 4.2 6.6 6.7
Nitrogen dioxide — 1-hour standard 23.2 19.4 17.3 18.8 17.3 16.0 13.7 12.3 10.7 12.3 8.5 7.4 4.7
Ozone — 8-hour standard 65.2 64.9 66.2 66.0 67.7 61.4 66.0 65.0 63.8 58.8 48.4 59.1 60.7
Particulate matter (PM2.5) — annual standard 24.2 29.6 24.7 20.8 19.0 16.3 24.1 12.2 15.8 7.2 2.1 1.7 2.2
Particulate matter (PM2.5) — 24-hour standard 55.0 62.5 60.7 60.8 56.6 55.8 59.6 45.0 50.2 35.6 31.5 33.7 24.3
Particulate matter (PM10) — 24-hour standard 7.9 6.3 6.0 4.8 7.8 5.1 4.9 5.0 12.2 3.9 2.7 2.2 3.7
Sulfur dioxide — 1-hour standard 31.1 28.8 26.6 25.5 21.5 20.4 20.7 16.5 15.2 16.8 11.2 8.6 7.9
NOTE: Percentages are based on the number of children living in counties where measured air pollution concentrations were higher than the level of a Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard at least once during the year. The indicator is calculated with reference to the current levels of the air quality standards for all years shown. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) periodically reviews air quality standards and may change them based on updated scientific findings. Measuring concentrations above the level of a standard is not equivalent to violating the standard. The level of a standard may be exceeded on multiple days before the exceedance is considered a violation of the standard. Data have been revised since previous publication in America's Children. Values have been recalculated based on updated Census population data and updated data in the Air Quality System. This analysis does not incorporate the revision to the PM2.5 annual standard promulgated in December 2012. For more information on the air quality standards that are used in calculating these percentages, please see http://www.epa.gov/air/criteria.html.
SOURCE: Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air and Radiation, Air Quality System.