Air Quality in New Jersey & Air Pollution Epidemic

Pollution is or “can be either foreign substances/energies or naturally occurring contaminants.”  If you live in New Jersey or have ever visited and took the NJ-Turnpike going north towards New York City you will understand exactly where I am going with this.  My whole entire life I have grown up in New Jersey and there is a particular section on the NJ-Turnpike that always smells horrific.  Among the many different environmental problems that we have today world wide this one hits close to home because it is a smell that I will never forget and its also a smell that is present every time I take the NJ-Turnpike heading north towards New York City.  According to an article that I found that was published on 04/18/2018 by a New Jersey news channel’s website “New Jersey’s air continues to be among the most polluted in the nation.”  According to the same article North Jersey particularly and New York City are ranked as “10th worst metropolitan area in the U.S. for ozone levels, the main ingredient in smog that can trigger asthma attacks in the estimated 735,000 state residents who suffer from the disease.”

Along the NJ-Turnpike there are many coal fired power plants and these factories contribute a lot of air pollution.  Air pollution is a world wide epidemic as any pollution is however it is the contributing factor to why people are now getting sick.  People who live in these areas suffer more from disease then people who live in the suburbs.  Any pollution is the introduction of contaminants that are being exposed to a natural environment.  These pollutants are not supposed to be in the air that we breathe and therefore this is why so many people as stated in the article are suffering from many different diseases.  There are measures being taken to lessen the pollution.  For instance, “In 2017, PSEG Power shut down its two coal-burning power plants — one in Jersey City on the Hackensack River and the other outside Trenton. That leaves the B.L. England plant in Cape May County as the only plant that burns coal in New Jersey.”  However larger measures need to be taken by a larger authority and in the article which is dated 04/18/2018 they stated that “The report comes as President Donald Trump moves toward weakening clean air standards in an effort to boost the nation’s manufacturing sector. The White House issued a directive last week to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to expedite approvals for large construction projects in communities including those that do not meet clean air standards.”


Fallon, S. (2018, April 18). Air pollution in New Jersey is so bad it could be dangerous to your health to breathe. Retrieved from

1 comment

  1. Robyn Louise Olsen

    This post is great in that it addresses a really important issue that I do not believe gets discussed very often, especially in the United States where we freely use solutions (and eat foods) that are filled with chemicals that are harmful to people, animals and the environment. Having lived in Southern California for my entire life, I have experienced many periods of drought. Just last year we were on the verge of a state of emergency from lack of rain. Luckily, that turned around, but people were forced to completely change their normal, day-to-day habits; things like taking shorter showers and only watering their lawns for a limited time, if at all. We saw many lawns turn yellow and brown as a result, but we also saw many that stayed beautifully green and lush. It would not surprise me at all to know that people are using such harsh and toxic chemicals to keep their lawn looking pristine. It is so important, as a society, for us to start looking at our choices and make decisions based on the general good instead of the personal, selfish fulfillment. Rolling back clean air solutions is exactly the kind of behavior we need to get away from, so hopefully moving forward we will start to see more individuals in politics trying to help the environment instead of their wallet.

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