Clean air group says Denver, Fort Collins improving on ozone

Lung Association gives Lackawanna top marks for clean air

Pittsburgh region's air gets failing grade again, but it's getting better

The American Lung Association released their 2017 "State of The Air" report which states that Allen County has improved their ozone numbers but pollution numbers remained the same. The nearly year around warm weather may make the state a prime vacation spot, but also reportedly increases the already high levels of ozone pollution. Short-term particle spikes can be extremely unsafe and even lethal. The American Lung Association says smog can irritate the lungs and cause wheezing, coughing, asthma attacks and premature death.

Kern County received failing grades by the lung association, Sadredin said, but so did coastal cities such as San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz and even Hawaii. Rockingham County's overall grade went from an F previous year to a D; Hillsborough County improved from a D to a C. However, it still is higher than the 21.2 days on average recorded in 2009-2011.

The report also found an increase in unsafe short-term spikes in particle pollution.

They're a big factor in high levels of ozone pollution. The grade for high ozone days appear in yellow and the grade for particle pollution appears in red. As recently as 2001, it had more than 30. This is Important because both ozone and particle pollution can harm your health, and even shorten lives.

Ken Fletcher, the lung association's advocacy director for OH, said the message should be that the nation's environmental laws work.

In Ohio, those include the Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati areas. These three are the only eastern counties on the list for the top 40 most polluted. Eventually the sand is broken down into a powdery consistency and is light enough for the strong coastal winds to pick up and blow around, creating air quality problems downwind of the riding areas. Monroe and Hillsdale were not ranked, while the Adrian and Ann Arbor areas - like Toledo - got a C grade for ozone.

Southern California has once again won the distinction of having the worst summer smog in the nation but earned praised for its long-term efforts to improve air quality.

However, the state's strict laws on tailpipe pollution and eliminating coal-fired power plants have protected it from being far worse. The Oregon facility is to produce almost as much electricity as FirstEnergy Corp.'s Davis-Besse nuclear power plant.

"By a 2-to-1 margin, Americans believe Congress should leave standards in place", she said, citing a recent lung association poll.

"The air quality is definitely getting better". The organization credited the federal Clean Air Act and local and state pollution measures.

While 125 million Americans are still living with high rates of pollution, the report found it was a drop of 41 million from the 2016 report, based on earlier data. An Ozone Action Day is declared when the pollution is so bad that people with compromised respiratory systems are urged to stay inside.

"There is a definite correlation between pollution and respiratory illnesses, as the air quality worsens so is the incidence of respiratory illnesses like asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis, including allergic skin conditions as well", said Dr. Eduardo Villarama, regional medical director for Golden Valley Health Centers, in an email to the Merced Sun-Star.

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