Public health is suffering,” Nichols said. The company estimates that Denver drivers spent an average of 36 hours last year in congested traffic. While we enjoy Denver with all it offers in the way of culture, entertainment, and recreation, there’s a downside: the traffic. While air pollution levels in Denver generally aren’t as high as they were in the 1980s, health and environmental advocacy groups are questioning whether air-cleaning efforts under Gov. On those thousand miles of roadways, what they're seeing annually are 40 fewer traffic fatalities. The EPA uses an Air Quality Index, or AQI, for measuring concentrations of hazardous pollutants in the air people breathe, including ground-level ozone, particulates, sulfur dioxide, lead, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issues an air quality forecast every day and updates the Air Quality Index in real-time on its website. Residents of the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood area experienced 131 days of bad air by this criteria, Environment Colorado concluded, ranking metro Denver 10th worst, with nearly 3 million people enduring bad air for 35% of the year. I've driven in Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston and Denver, and it still surprises me that Minneapolis were so awful. Pfister said the smoke event on Saturday only lasted a few hours. “Reducing air pollution is one of our highest priorities, and we are moving aggressively on multiple fronts to achieve this goal. This pollution disproportionately hurts sensitive groups — people with asthma, children and the elderly — but affects all residents. “We understand that the Denver metro area has a serious problem with air pollution, as reflected in the ‘Serious Ozone Nonattainment’ status, wherever it might rank in comparison to other cities,” state Air Pollution Control Division director Garry Kaufman said. 125 million tons a year of heat-trapping and hazardous gases, EPA declares Colorado a “serious” violator of federal air quality standards, forcing stricter efforts to reduce pollution, Metro Denver residents drive more despite rise of transit services — hampering efforts to cut air pollution, Colorado revs toward an electric car future, compelled by climate change and air pollution, Colorado cement plant aims to be first in U.S. to capture carbon on a commercial scale, Decisions on public lands in Colorado, across West questioned after ruling on acting federal agency chief. RELATED: Glenwood Canyon is exhibit A for the risk climate change poses to the country’s infrastructure. Beyond respiratory problems, recent research links poor air quality to chronic inflammation and dementia. American College of Surgeon. Buford. This analysis was part of a nationwide study that found 108 million Americans lived in areas where air quality was degraded on more than 100 days during 2018. Highways are also a good option: to bypass I-25, try Hwy 85 or Hwy 287. So while Denver is in the high heat of the afternoon, some other parts of the world are under the cover of darkness. See Before & After Photos for actual patients. One analysis presented by the advocacy group Environment Colorado counted days during which more than half of the air quality monitoring stations in a city measured elevated ozone and particulate pollution — the most problematic pollutants in many cities nationwide. Responding to queries from The Denver Post, EPA officials provided bad air day tallies from 2018 and 2019. So, what is it? That 229 rating on Saturday evening made Denver the most polluted city in the world at that moment in time. Finley grew up in Colorado, graduated from Stanford, then earned masters degrees in international relations as a Fulbright scholar in Britain and in journalism at Northwestern. Pfister said the smoke event on Saturday only lasted a few hours. By continuing to use the site, you accept our, presented by the advocacy group Environment Colorado, researchers for insurance industry group 360 Quote, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. EPA officials said their 2019 count is preliminary and will be completed by March 30. Families should be worried. She said air quality can change dramatically from hour to hour, and the sun's radiation increases air pollution in most cities. He is also a lawyer and previously handled international news with on-site reporting in 40 countries. Denver’s healthy air days in 2018 — an AQI lower than 50 — numbered 83, about 22% of that year. “The AQI helps you to get the key, most essential information in a very quick way,” said Gabi Pfister and air quality researcher at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. So here's what they want you to think about climate change as you cast your ballot this November. Tools And of course we have the notorious intersection of I-25 and I-70 that locals call the “Mousetrap.”. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Your Privacy Controls. Every year for my birt... read more", "Had breast lift/augmentation and am thrilled with the results! Not only is traffic bad, but it’s getting worse. Traffic sucks really bad too, because the lack of more lanes on highways and lack of extra highways altogether. For 2019, the EPA records show at least 265 days during which metro Denver residents inhaled bad air, including 243 moderate days, 20 days unhealthy for sensitive people and two unhealthy for all.