Health impacts of airport proximity

North SeaTac Park and its community are at the geographic center of a ten-mile zone surrounding SeaTac International Airport where evergreen forests are in decline and where Public Health Seattle-King County recommends increasing evergreen, or coniferous, tree coverage to protect residents from airport-generated pollution that shortens lives and disproportionately impacts health.

This figure, from a 2020 report prepared by Public Health Seattle-King County for the Washington State Legislature, (2) shows three zones: Zone A within 1 mile, Zone B 1-5 miles, and Zone C, 5-10 miles from SeaTac International Airport.

In this community, life expectancies are lower and airport pollution is linked with wide range of illnesses.

Trees capture significant amounts of this airport pollution. They help to stabilize our climate and provide cool refuge during our increasingly hot summers. The City of SeaTac, where the airport is located, is estimated to have a tree canopy of 21%, which is significantly lower than that of neighboring cities or the national average (5-7)

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