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Report Gives Failing Grades for Air Quality

The American Lung Association's “State of the Air 2014” report released today found that nearly half of all Americans – more than 147 million – live in counties in the U.S. where ozone or particle pollutions levels make the air unhealthy to breathe. The 15th annual national report card shows that, while the nation continued to reduce particle pollution poor air quality remains a significant public health concern. Levels of ozone, or smog, the most widespread air pollutant, were much worse than in the previous year’s report. Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties all got an "F" for number of high-ozone days last year. Lake County received an F for short-term particle levels and Porter County received a D, while LaPorte County received an “A” in that category.

Metropolitan Chicago ranked as the 14th-most polluted city in the nation for short-term particle pollution, 20th-most polluted for annual particle pollution and 20th-most ozone polluted, all worse rankings than last year’s report.
Indianapolis also ranked as the 20th-most polluted city in the nation for year round particle pollution, out of 277 metropolitan areas, a worse ranking than last year’s report. Most counties don't have air pollutant monitors. The state and EPA decide where to place monitors, and the report notes monitors are located in less than 1,000 of the 3,068 counties in the United States.

“The air in Chicago is certainly cleaner than when we started the ‘State of the Air’ report 15 years ago,” said Mike Kolleng, Manager of the Healthy Air Campaign.  “However, there is still work to be done to reduce year-round particle pollution. Also, the increases in unhealthy days of high ozone and short-term particle pollution tell us we still have work to do. Reducing ozone pollution will be particularly challenging because warmer temperatures increase risk for ozone pollution, and climate change sets the stage for higher ozone levels in the future. We must set stronger health standards for pollutants and clean up sources of pollution in Chicago to protect the health of our citizens.”

“The air in Indianapolis is certainly cleaner than when we started the ‘State of the Air’ report 15 years ago,” said Meghan McNulty, Director of Mission Services.  “The continued reduction of year-round particle pollution is thanks to cleaner diesel fleets and cleaner power plants. However, the increases in unhealthy days of short-term particle pollution tell us we still have work to do. Reducing ozone pollution will be particularly challenging because warmer temperatures increase risk for ozone pollution, and climate change sets the stage for higher ozone levels in the future. We must set stronger health standards for pollutants and clean up sources of pollution in Indianapolis to protect the health of our citizens.”

For more info: http://www.lung.org/about-us/our-impact/top-stories/state-of-the-air-2014-top-story.html
For more info: http://www.stateoftheair.org/2014/states/indiana/


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