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GASP EVENT | Recent Increases in Air Pollution: Evidence and Implications for Mortality

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh East Liberty Branch (130 S Whitfield St, Pittsburgh, PA 15206)

You’re invited to join GASP for an event at 2 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh East Liberty branch featuring Professor Nicholas Z. Muller of Carnegie Mellon University.

Muller will give a talk about a recent paper he co-wrote with fellow CMU economist Karen Clay titled “Recent Increases in Air Pollution: Evident and Implications for Mortality.”

According to their research, after declining by 24.2 percent from 2009 to 2016, the annual average fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in the United States in counties with monitors increased by 5.5 percent between 2016 and 2018. Increases occurred in multiple census regions and in counties that were in and out of attainment with National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

The authors explored channels through which the increase may have occurred, including increases in economic activity, increases in wildfires, and decreases in Clean Air Act enforcement actions. The health implications of this increase in PM2.5 between 2016 and 2018 are significant, their research shows: The increase was associated with 9,700 additional premature deaths in 2018. At conventional valuations, these deaths represent damages of $89 billion.

Light snacks and beverages will be provided. Spots are limited, so registration is recommended (just email We hope to see you there!

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