Go ahead, take a deep breath and let those notes of burnt hair and haunted diaper puddle frolic in your palate like a delicate mouthful of Lacrima: New York City's air is the cleanest its been in 50 years.
Since Mayor Bloomberg began phasing out dirty types of heating oil in 2007 as part of the Clean Heat Program, the levels of sulfur dioxide have dropped by 69%, and soot pollution has fallen by 23%. According to a release from the Mayor's Office, these improvements have prevented 800 deaths and 2,000 emergency room visits each year.
“The Clean Heat program has succeeded in its mission to accelerate conversions to the cleanest heating fuels,” Douglas Durst, Chairman of The Durst Organization and Chair of the NYC Clean Heat Task Force said in the release. “While our work is not complete until every building converts to cleaner fuels, today’s announcement demonstrates that New Yorkers are healthier today and will be for years to come because of Clean Heat."
While we'll probably never catch up to Cheyenne, Wyoming's air quality (thanks in part to the liquid that comes from Cheyenne, Wyoming) the American Lung Association gives NYC a B+ in terms of particle pollution. However, we score a D in ozone pollution, which c'mon we can retake that one in summer school.
But 800 lives! That's a lot of lives. Just how much longer has Bloomberg extended our fleeting hours on this marbled rock?
"That’s a dumb question," @MikeBloomberg tells a reporter asking him to say how much of increase in life expectancy he is responsible for.
— Kate Taylor (@katetaylornyt) September 26, 2013