America’s air is getting cleaner, according to the American Lung Association’s “State of the Air” report from 2009 to 2011.
The report shows that the three types of air pollution it tracks, ozone, short-term and year-round particle pollution, have all declined. Locally, the Youngstown area is tied with Toledo as the 80th most polluted metro area in the nation for ozone pollution. That is an improvement from 61st place in the 2012 report.
Mahoning County maintained its grade rating of C for ozone pollution.
The Youngstown-Warren-East Liverpool area also tied with Toledo as the 79th most polluted cities for short-term particle pollution, receiving a grade of C. Their annual particle pollution ranking was 47th in the nation. The area did however “pass” the annual particle pollution standard for annual particle pollution adopted in December 2012.
“The air in the Youngstown area is certainly cleaner than when we started the ‘State of the Air’ report 14 years ago,” said Shelly Kiser, director of advocacy for the American Lung Association in Ohio. “But the work is not done, and we must set stronger health standards for pollutants and cleanup sources of pollution in the Youngstown area to protect the health of our citizens.”
The report also states that there are currently more than 5,000 children living with asthma in Mahoning County. There is clear evidence that asthma is a condition that worsens significantly and becomes far more dangerous when air pollution increases.
The American Lung Association report reveals that from 2009-2011, many places including the Youngstown area made strong progress compared to 2008-2010, particularly in lower year-round levels of particle pollution. As a result of emissions reductions from coal-fired power plants and the transition to cleaner diesel fuels and engines, air quality is improving, especially in the eastern United States.