Indianapolis gets ‘F’ for air quality, American Lung Association says

Pablo Tucker
April 25, 2019

The Eugene-Springfield area is now the 38th most polluted area in the US for annual particle pollution, according to the American Lung Association's "State of the Air" 2019 report.

Across the state, Philadelphia got an "F" for a high number of Ozone Days.

Across the nation, the report found that ozone levels are rising, due in part to warmer temperatures, vehicle fuels and power plants.

Now more than ever the US must protect the Clean Air Act, according to the report.

For particle pollution, which comes from wildfires, wood-burning stoves and coal-powered power plants, eight of the top 25 most-polluted cities experienced the most days with harmful spikes in particle pollution in the report's history. Wednesday's report, the organization's 20th, looks at data on particle pollution and ozone pollution from 2015 to 2017.

Nationally, four of 10 Americans were found to have lived in a county that had unhealthy air, the report stated.

While the report examined data from 2015-2017, this 20th annual report online provides information on air pollution trends back to the first report.

Medford-Grants Pass landed at No. 10 by "year-round particle air pollution".

"The implication is that the health of close to half of all Americans who live in areas that fail to meet these clean air standards is at increased risk due to the causal link between air pollution and diseases such as asthma and COPD", Elena Craft, senior climate and health director at the Environmental Defense Fund, told Newsweek.

That means that more than 141 million people in the United States now breathe air that is contaminated with high levels of ozone and soot, day-in and day-out.

The 2019 "State of the Air" report found ozone levels increased in most cities, largely because of rising temperatures.

Bangor, Maine, tops the report's list of cleanest cities, followed by Burlington, Vermont, and Honolulu.

"Every American deserves to breathe healthy air that won't make them sick", Wimmer said.

"People don't understand how unsafe ozone really is", said Ellen Penrod, executive director of the American Lung Association in Colorado.

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