Summertime and the breathing is sleazy. A new Department of Health report (see PDF) has determined that NYC’s summer air is breathtakingly laced with those finer things in life…such as intoxicating particles of elemental carbon, nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide and other airborne goodies. And no matter how the facts, figures, maps and charts are delineated, oriented, calculated, colored, scaled or projected, the results are the same: the air quality in this town undoubtedly sucks from June to September.
“The take-home message here is that the air quality just isn’t great anywhere in New York City. What’s surprising is just how variable the air quality is across the city,” Deputy Health Commissioner Daniel Kass said.
While dangerous levels of particulate matter (dust, pollen, and other materials) were found in the more building-/ people-congested areas of the city like Lower-, Midtown Manhattan and the Bronx, areas in the outer-boroughs (Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island) that flank major highways have even higher levels of such pollution.
Even neighborhoods regarded as “safe havens” amidst the city’s hustling-bustling reality are severely blighted with contaminated air. Ground-level ozone (formed via a reaction of oxygen and pollutants with sunlight) is more pronounced in “downwind” areas of the city like the Rockaways and southern Staten Island.
Health Commissioner Thomas Farley, in a prepared statement, said the study emphasizes the need to switch to more fuel-efficient cars, reduce overall vehicle traffic and rely more on mass transit. [In other words, the situation is apparently hopeless.]
While all is abuzz in this city with “going green” here, there and everywhere, the more it’s going to pot with this apparently unrelenting smog issue. Perhaps the only thing truly green is the profit margin on pork barrel projects, disguised as “environmentally-friendly,” in this newfangled Gilded Age of ours…that alone would account for the smog as well as for the stink.
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