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Poll: Americans less worried about environment

Poll: Americans less worried about environment
Scientists tread carefully through a seemingly endless landscape of ice, sea, and meltwater in the Canada Basin of the Arctic. Photo made from the U.S. Coast Guard Icebreaker Healy. UPI/Jeremy Potter/NOAA | License Photo

WASHINGTON, April 13 (UPI) -- Americans' worries about environmental threats of U.S. water and air pollution are at a historic low, a poll indicated.

Thirty-six percent of respondents in a Gallup poll say they worry a great deal about air pollution and 48 percent say they are concerned about pollution of drinking water, but both figures are down more than 20 percentage points from the year 2000, Gallup reported Friday.

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Asked to say how much they worry about each of seven environmental problems, Americans reported significantly less worry today than in 2000, when concern was at or near its high point for each item.

In addition to air and water pollution, the poll measured concern over toxic waste, loss of tropical rain forests, global warming, and extinction of plant and animal species.

Across the seven items polled, the percentage who said they worried a great deal is down an average 16 percentage points among Republicans, 18 points among independents, and 13 points among Democrats.

Concern about global warming is lowest of the seven environmental issues tested, Gallup said.

Poll results are based on telephone interviews conducted March 8-11 with a random sample of 1,024 adults ages 18 and older living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

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The maximum margin of sampling error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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