Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Researchers at MIT’s Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment (LAE) have extensive expertise in analyzing the atmospheric impacts of aviation, transportation, and other emissions sources. In 2017, LAE prepared the first facility-level analysis of the air quality-driven health impacts of facilities attributed to the companies in the FTSE Russell-1000 Index, broken down by impacted state.

We collaborated with LAE to identify 3,660 facilities attributable to Russell-1000 companies in the EPA’s most recent National Emissions Inventory. We then applied a state-of-the-science atmospheric adjoint model, which considers weather patterns as well as atmospheric chemistry, transport, and deposition, in order to compute the U.S. population’s exposure to PM2.5 resulting from emissions of identified facilities. Exposure caused by each facility has been mapped to both national and state-level health endpoint metrics, such as premature mortalities, cardiac hospital admissions, chronic bronchitis cases, respiratory hospital admissions, and work days lost.

The results indicate that 6,760 premature mortalities are caused by emissions of the identified facilities, with the utilities sector being the most significant contributor (Figure 1 below). The biggest health impacts were identified in Ohio, followed by Pennsylvania and Illinois (Figure 2 below). Our intention and that of LAE’s research is that the facility-level results will inform the public debate to improve air quality in the U.S.

Based on information shared by Dr. Florian Allroggen, Laboratory Executive Officer, LAE, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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