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An oil refinery on Puget Sound, near Seattle.

These 17 cities have the worst air quality in the entire country

Air quality is plateauing in the US. INSIDER analyzed EPA data to find the cities with the worst air quality so far in 2019.
A worker clears Sargassum algae at Gaviota Azul beach in Cancun, Mexico, July 17, 2015. Sargassum releases a pungent smell as it decomposes.

The algae epidemic suffocating the Caribbean has hit a scary milestone — the world’s largest seaweed bloom now stretches from Africa to Me...

NASA satellites have identified the world's largest seaweed bloom. A leading algae researcher says this is probably the new normal.
View of semi-submerged automobile wreckage lining the shore of acu rve of the Cuyahoga River (looking south), near Jaite, Ohio, 1968. A railroad bridge is visible in the background.

Vintage EPA photos reveal what US waterways looked like before pollution was regulated

In the years after the US Environmental Protection Agency was founded, the agency dispatched photographers to document pollution and contamination.

You might be eating and drinking microplastics that weigh as much as a credit card every week: Study

Shellfish, beer and salt recorded the highest levels of plastic content, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

14 Orang Asli have died after an outbreak, and experts are blaming environmental destruction for their declining health

Due to logging and pollution, many of the Bateq people are malnourished, or "skin and bones", one expert said.
Marine life, particularly fish, are victims of low-oxygen "dead zones": areas of ocean severely lacking in oxygen.

The ‘dead zone’ in the Gulf of Mexico may grow to the size of Massachusetts this summer. That could make seafood more expensive.

The Gulf of Mexico's "dead zone" is an area of oxygen-starved water off the coast. Its size fluctuates depending on how much run-off enters the ocean.
Fish swim near a plastic fork and a bottle at the Samandag Cevlik Akcay diving site off the coast of Samandag, Turkey on December 6, 2018.

More plastic pollution is swirling in the deep ocean than in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It’s even showing up in the intestines of sea crea...

An exploration of the sea floor in Monterey Bay revealed that the highest amount of microplastics accumulates 2,000 feet below the surface.
Alex Loznak speaks following a court hearing in Eugene, Oregon in March 2016.

21 young people are suing the US government, claiming a constitutional right to a stable climate. Here’s what happened in court.

In a landmark court case, young people are suing the US government over climate change. A panel of judges will decide whether it goes to trial.

Air pollution kills more people each year than smoking — but it’s not the only dangerous pollutant you encounter on a daily basis

Today marks the 35th annual World Environment Day, and this year's focus is air pollution. Here's how various kinds of pollution affect your health.
Robert Downey Jr. announces the Footprint Coalition at Amazon's inaugural re:MARS, June 4, 2019, Las Vegas.

Robert Downey Jr. has vowed to use robotics and AI to significantly clean up the Earth in the next decade

At his talk at Amazon's Machine Learning, Automation, Robotics and Space conference he announced a new initiative called Footprint Coalition.