From: Editor, ENN
Published May 1, 2009 07:08 AM

American Lung Association Report on Air Quality Finds Progress, But Major Cities Show Problems

The American Lung Association's State of the Air 2009 report acknowledges substantial progress against air pollution in many areas of the country, but finds nearly every major city still with some problem pollutants.
            

Sixteen cities making this year’s 25 most ozone-polluted list experienced worsened ozone (smog) problems than last year’s report found. Fifty-eight percent of people in the United States live in counties with recorded unhealthy levels of ozone air pollution, measured against the tighter standard in effect since March 2008

This year, 12 more California counties received failing grades than last year, reflecting the tighter national ozone standard implemented in 2008. The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside metro area demonstrates a continued and notable improvement trend for annual particle pollution levels (dropping to number three on that most-polluted list nationwide), based on State of the Air report grades during the past decade, although particle pollution levels remain unhealthy.

Ozone is the most widespread form of air pollution. Ozone is a powerful gas formed most often when sunlight reacts with vapors when vehicles, factories, power plants and other sources burn fuel. Ozone pollution immediately irritates the lungs when inhaled, resulting in something like a bad sunburn.

The American Lung Association’s State of the Air 2009 report finds that 6 out of 10 Americans --186.1 million people -- live in areas where air pollution levels endanger lives. State of the Air 2009 acknowledges substantial progress against air pollution in many areas of the country, but finds nearly every major city still burdened by air pollution. Despite America’s growing “green” movement, the air in many cities became dirtier since the last report.


The American Lung Association has a web site you can use to see how levels of air quality are in your area. For more information visit: http://www.stateoftheair.org/

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