SDG Indicator 3.9.1

Indicator 3.9.1 - Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.9, as defined by the United Nations, focuses on the reduction of mortality and morbidity from hazardous chemicals and air, water, and soil pollution and contamination. This goal is a critical component of the broader SDG 3, which aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. The specific target of SDG 3.9.1 is to substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from air pollution by 2030.

The measures below show the number of days in San Diego County categorized as 'Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups.' This information is vital for understanding the air quality trends in the region and its impact on public health, especially for those with heightened sensitivity to air pollutants.

Trends in air quality from 2018 to 2022

This line chart displays the trends in air quality from 2018 to 2022, by the number of days for each year. Each line represents a different category related to air quality, including: (1) the presence of pollutants including ozone, CO, NO2, and particulate matter (of size 2.5um and 10um - represented by PM2.5 and PM10 respectively); (2) classifications of general air quality (good days, moderate days, unhealthy days); and (3) air quality index (AQI) levels.

Unhealthy Rates: San Diego County vs. National Average

This line chart compares the Air Quality Index (AQI) rates between San Diego County and the national average over the period from 2018 to 2022. The AQI rate is calculated by dividing the number of days classified as 'Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups' by the total number of days with AQI measurements. The national average is calculated only from counties where the number of days with recorded AQI exceeds 182.
As seen below, San Diego County has a much worse rate of unhealthy AQI days, being 3-8% higher than the national average. Following 2020 however, there has been consistent, major decreases in the unhealthy AQI rate for San Diego County, with it dropping over 7% by 2022.

Air Quality in San Diego County (2021)

The chart below presents the distribution of days in 2021 categorized by their Air Quality Index (AQI) Levels of Concern. Each bar represents a specific AQI category, such as Good, Moderate, Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups, Unhealthy, Very Unhealthy, and Hazardous, showing the number of days that fell into each category.

Major Pollutants in San Diego County (2021)

The following bar chart illustrates the frequency with which five major pollutants exceeded the threshold levels established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the year 2021. Each bar represents one of the pollutants, indicating the number of days in that year when the pollutant's concentration surpassed the EPA's safety guidelines. Ozone and PM2.5 were the biggest recorded pollutants for San Diego County in 2021, with NO2, PM10, and CO levels meeting more ideal standards.

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