air pollution

New data recently released shows that people of color are more exposed to air pollutants from Tampa Bay's busy roadways.

WUSF's Jessica Meszaros spoke with Amy Stuart, a professor in the College of Public Health at the University of South Florida, who is one of the researchers behind this study.

Emphysema is considered a smoker's disease. But it turns out, exposure to air pollution may lead to the same changes in the lung that give rise to emphysema.

The typical American conversation about health focuses on personal choice as a key driver — the foods we choose to eat, the number of steps we log each day, the doctors we visit and the medicines we take. But epidemiologist Sandro Galea says that way of thinking is the wrong way.

You wouldn't think that a region that prides itself on outdoor activities and sunshine would have problems with air pollution. But Tampa Bay had some of the dirtiest air in the state in 2015.

The report came from the advocacy group Environment Florida. It says in 2015, Tampa Bay experienced 56 dirty air pollution days. The region - which is swept with sea breezes from the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay - was the worst area in the state in 2015 for both soot and smog.