Last weekend, the world lost a luminary when Wangari Muta Maathai passed away at the age of 71 after a battle with ovarian cancer.
The Kenyan native, whom we honored earlier this year as one of our “Heroes of Sustainability,” is known for being the first African woman and first environmentalist to win the Nobel Peace Prize, but that accomplishment is only one of her many firsts.
When any given person dies because of respiratory problems, it is probably not possible to trace the cause of death specifically to smog-producing ozone in the air. Even so, statistical studies show increases in mortality and morbidity are correlated with increases in ozone in the air. There is no doubt that high levels of ozone kill some people and make many others sick.