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1972 Survey and Assessment of Air Pollution Damage to Vegetation in New Jersey

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The economic impact of air pollution on vegetation was studied for a second year (see above for link to the earlier study), from May 1972 through May, 1973. Direct losses to agronomic crops and ornamental plantings were evaluated; crop substitution and indirect yield reduction were not accounted for. The total losses to these crops for 1972-73 amounted to $128,019. Forty-seven percent of the plant damage was caused by oxidants, 18 percent by hydrogen fluoride, 16 percent ethylene, 4 percent by sulfur dioxide, and 1 percent by anhydrous ammonia. Cumberland, Warren, Atlantic, and Salem Counties sustained the greatest degree of injury. Damage reported in this survey was only 11 percent of the reported for 1971-72. Reduced losses did not result from decreased air pollution concentrations but rather from altered environmental conditions. The unusual rainfall patterns in 1972 placed the plants under water stress and probably protected them from air pollution injury. The report also document unknown problems, and assesses research needs.

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