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Environmental Quality

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Explore the latest data for the LHI topic Environment Quality.
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Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going
Between 2005-2008 and 2009-2012, exposure to secondhand smoke among children aged 3 to 11 years decreased 20.9%, from 52.2% to 41.3%, exceeding the HP2020 target of 47.0%. Exposure to secondhand smoke varies by race and ethnicity, country of birth, and health insurance status. The Air Quality Index (AQI), which reports daily air quality from a value of 0 to 500, considers values greater than 100 to indicate unhealthy levels of air pollution. The Healthy People 2020 objective assesses changes in air quality by considering both the number and severity of unhealthy days, and weighing them by population and AQI. Between 2006-2008 and 2009-2011 the number of AQI-weighted people days has decreased 44%, also exceeding the HP2020 target.

Leading Health Indicators
Explore the latest data and disparities for each indicator
Air Quality Index (AQI) exceeding 100 (EH-1)
Children aged 3 to 11 years exposed to secondhand smoke (TU-11.1)

Air Quality Index (AQI) exceeding 100 (EH-1)

  • Healthy People 2020 objective EH-1 tracks the Number of AQI-weighted people days the Air Quality Index (AQI) exceeds 100.
    • HP2020 Baseline: In 2006-2008, the AQI exceeded 100 for 2.237 billion AQI-weighted people days over 100.
    • HP2020 Target: 1.98 billion AQI-weighted people days.
    • Between 2006-2008 and 2009-2011 the number of AQI-weighted people days that the AQI exceeded 100 decreased 44% from 2.237 billion to 1.252 billion.

Endnotes:

  • The AQI weight is the proportion of the AQI greater than 100 (for example, an AQI of 141 yields an AQI weight of 1.41). The population of an area is multiplied by the AQI weight to produce weighted people days. All areas with an AQI greater than 100 are summed by AQI-weighted people days for each year and averaged for the 3-year period.
  • Data for this measure are available annually and come from the Air Quality System (AQS), EPA.

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Children aged 3 to 11 years exposed to secondhand smoke (TU-11.1)

  • Healthy People 2020 objective TU-11.1 tracks the proportion of children aged 3 to 11 years who were exposed to secondhand smoke.
    • HP2020 Baseline: In 2005-2008, 52.2% of children aged 3 to 11 years were exposed to secondhand smoke.
    • HP2020 Target: 47.0%, a 10% improvement over the baseline.
    • Between 2005-08 and 2009-12, exposure to secondhand smoke among children aged 3 to 11 years decreased 20.9%, from 52.2% to 41.3%, exceeding the HP2020 target.

Exposure to Secondhand Smoke for Children Aged 3 to 11 by Health Insurance Status, 2009–12

Children with public health insurance had more than twice the rate of secondhand smoke exposure compared with those with private health insurance.

Data Source: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), CDC/NCHS.

  • Among racial and ethnic groups, Hispanic children aged 3 to 11 years had the lowest rate of exposure to secondhand smoke in 2009-2012 (31.4%). The rate for non-Hispanic black or African American children (67.8%) was more than twice the best rate.
  • In 2009-2012, children born outside the US were less likely to be exposed to secondhand smoke than children born in the US (16.3% vs. 42.4%). The rate for children born in the US was more than two and half times the rate for children born outside the US.
  • Among insurance status groups, children aged 3 to 11 years with private health insurance had the lowest (best) rate of secondhand smoke exposure (27.3%) in 2009-2012. Children with public health insurance (57.5%) had more than twice the rate of secondhand smoke exposure and children with no health insurance (43.8%) had more than one and half times the rate of secondhand smoke exposure.

Endnotes:

  • Unless noted otherwise, all disparities described are statistically significant at the 0.05 level of significance.
  • Data are for non-smokers aged 3 to 11 years who had a serum cotinine level greater than or equal to 0.05ng/mL and less than or equal to 10ng/mL. Children are considered to be non-smokers if they have a serum cotinine level less than or equal to 10ng/mL.
  • The terms “Hispanic or Latino” and “Hispanic” are used interchangeably in this report.
  • Data for this measure are available biennially and come from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), CDC/NCHS. For this data system, four years of data are pooled for analysis when available.