The 2019 American Lung Association "State of the Air" Report Is Out

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The American Lung Association released its 2019 "State of the Air" report on Wednesday.

The report says the Eugene-Springfield area is also now the 62nd most polluted area in the country for ozone pollution. Here in Suffolk county we're faring pretty well with a grade of "C" for high ozone days and an "A" for high particle pollution days.

The report tracks Americans' exposure to unhealthy levels of ozone and particle pollution and ranks counties in each state based on the number of high ozone and high particle pollution days recorded between 2015-2017.

"The 20th annual air quality "report card" found that 141.1 million people lived in counties with unhealthful levels of either ozone or particle pollution, an increase of more than 7.2 million Americans since the last annual report".

Combined with the effects of PM2.5 - tiny particles of burned matter that pollute the air and lodge themselves in the lungs - air pollution kills 8.8 million more people globally than would die otherwise every year.

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Six cities registered zero days with high ozone or particle pollution: Bangor, Maine; Burlington-South Burlington, Vermont; Honolulu; Lincoln-Beatrice, Nebraska; Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida; and Wilmington, North Carolina.

The country had been making progress in cleaning up air pollution, but during the Trump administration, it has been backsliding, the report says Deregulation and climate change are largely to blame.

Levels of all three measures increased in 12 USA counties, where over 20 million people live in the United States in the last three years.

Wildfires are also a big source of air pollution and are becoming a bigger problem with climate change.

Los Angeles continues to rank at the top of the list for worst ozone pollution, and other California cities - including Visalia, Bakersfield and the Fresno-Madera-Hanford region - top the lists for ozone, year-round particle pollution and short-term particle pollution, partially due to droughts and wildfires in the state. "The American Lung Association calls on the Administration and Congress to protect and prioritize Americans' health by taking urgent action to fight air pollution and address climate change".

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