Fewer pollutants in the air

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – We’re living with fewer pollutants in the environment. For the many with breathing difficulties here in western Massachusetts, this news is a step in the right direction.

An Environmental Protection Agency report, which was released Monday, found an almost 8% reduction in chemicals released into the environment in Massachusetts from 2011 to 2012.

Massachusetts industries reported how much pollutant they released. 43% were air pollutants that can cause breathing difficulties for lots of people, especially in the summertime.

Dr. Douglas Johnson of Baystate Medical Center told 22News, “Pollutants interact with receptors in the airways and tend to make the airwas more reactive which narrows the airways.”

This can lead to wheezing, shortness of breath or asthma attacks.

Dr. Johnson, who specializes in pulmonary care, is pleased with the results recognizing improvements have only been gradual since air pollutants peaked in this area in the 80s.

In all, 3.5 million pounds of chemicals were released into the environment here in Massachusetts in 2012.

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