News from American Lung Association in Ohio

COLUMBUS OH — Editors’ Note: Trend charts and rankings for metropolitan areas and county grades are available at www.stateoftheair.org.

The American Lung Association’s “State of the Air 2017” report released today shows mixed results for Ohio.

All cities in Ohio continue to show progress in reducing air pollution, especially in year-round particle pollution and ozone.

Cincinnati and Columbus had their best ever report, meaning that they reached their fewest high ozone and particle pollution days and lowest year-round particle levels.

All major cities had fewer unhealthy ozone days. Every city hit its lowest level for ozone.

The results for short-term particle pollution shows overall improvement, but more mixed results. Dayton had more unhealthy days for short-term particle pollution.

While the report found continued improvement in air quality across Ohio, many residents still live with unhealthful levels of either ozone or particle pollution placing their health at risk.

Each year the “State of the Air” reports on the two most widespread outdoor air pollutants, ozone pollution and particle pollution.

The report analyzes particle pollution in two ways: through average annual particle pollution levels and short-term spikes in particle pollution. Both ozone and particle pollution are dangerous to public health and can be lethal.

Ozone (smog) is the most widespread air pollutant, created by the reaction of sunlight on emissions from vehicles and other sources. When ozone is inhaled, it irritates the lungs, like a bad sunburn. It can cause immediate health problems and continue days later. Ozone can cause wheezing, coughing, asthma attacks and premature death.

Particle pollution levels can spike dangerously for hours to weeks on end (short-term) or remain at unhealthy levels on average every day (year-round). Particle pollution can penetrate deep into the lungs and even into the bloodstream, leading to premature deaths, asthma attacks and heart attacks, as well as lung cancer.

“The 2017 ‘State of the Air’ report finds unhealthful levels of ozone decreased, thanks to the Clean Air Act’s success at cleaning up major sources of the emissions that create ozone, especially coal-fired power plants and vehicles. However, research shows that climate change causes warmer temperatures, which makes ozone harder to clean up.” said Ken Fletcher, Director of Advocacy for the American Lung Association in Ohio

“Healthy air protections are under attack, and must be defended to save lives here and across the county. Air travels from one state to another, so only federal protections can help protect the air we all breathe,” added Fletcher.

Below are the counties with grades and any changes in the grades.*

Ozone Grade & Change Particle Pollution Grade & Change***

Allen ………………….. C ………… Improved ………………………………. A ……………. No Change

Butler …………………. F ………… No Change …………………………….. A ……………. No Change

Clark ………………….. F ………… No Change …………………………….. A……………… No Change

Cuyahoga……………. F ………… No Change …………………………….. C ……………. Improved

Franklin ……………… F ………… No Change …………………………….. A……………… No Change

Green ………………… C ………… Improved ………………………………. A ……………. No Change

Hamilton ……………. F ………… No Change …………………………….. B……………… No Change

Jefferson …………….. C ………… Improved ………………………………. C ……………. Worsened from B

Lake …………………… F ………… No Change …………………………….. A……………… No Change

Lawrence ……………. C ………… Improved ………………………………. A ……………. No Change

Lorain ………………… A………… Improved ………………………………. A ……………. No Change

Lucas………………….. C ………… Improved ………………………………. B ……………. Worsened from A

Mahoning …………… B ………… Improved ………………………………. A ……………. No Change

Medina ………………. B ………… Improved ………………………………. A ……………. No Change

Montgomery ………. C ………… Improved ………………………………. B ……………. No Change

Portage ………………. A………… Improved ………………………………. A……………… No Change

Preble ………………… B ………… Improved ………………………………. A ……………. No Change

Stark ………………….. F ………… No Change …………………………….. B ……………. No Change

Summit ………………. A………… Improved ………………………………. B…………….. No Change

Trumbull …………….. C ………… Improved ………………………………. A……………….No Change

*Not all counties have grades because not all counties have air pollution monitors.

***Short term particle pollution grades. Annual particle pollution grades can be found with the entire report at www.stateoftheair.org.

To see how your community ranks in “State of the Air 2017,” to learn how to protect yourself and your family from air pollution, and to join the fight for healthy air, visit: www.StateOfTheAir.org.

Background

The American Lung Association “State of the Air 2017” report uses the most recent quality-assured air pollution data, collected by federal, state and local governments and tribes in 2013, 2014, and 2015. The data comes from official monitors for the two most widespread types of pollution, ozone and particle pollution. The report grades counties, ranking cities and counties based on scores calculated by average number of unhealthy days (for ozone and for short-term particle pollution) and by annual averages (for year-round particle pollution).