1. 4 Key Findings from the ALA State of the Air Yearly Report
  • 4 Key Findings from the ALA State of the Air 2018 Report

    May 01, 2018

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    Discover what this year’s report reveals about the air you breathe every day.

    • The American Lung Association’s new report (PDF, 2 MB) has dropped, and it’s full of details that might make you think more critically about the air you and your family are breathing. This year’s report captures trends from 2014 to 2016 and emphasizes the importance of fighting for cleaner air on both local and national levels*. Here’s a look at four of the most significant takeaways from this year’s report.
       

      1. Forty-one percent of people in the United States live in counties with unhealthy levels of either ozone or particle pollution*. That’s more than 133.9 million people living with unhealthy levels.
      2. Compared to last year’s report, ozone pollution is significantly worse. 2016 was the second warmest year in recorded history, and upticks in higher temperature contributed to more days with high ozone. Several cities across the country also experienced more days with “smog”—which occurs when ground-level ozone enters unhealthy levels*.
      3. In better news, fewer cities suffered from year-round particle pollution and spikes in particle pollution—also known as soot. This can be largely attributed to cleaner power plants and a greater number of cleaner vehicles and engines in use*.
      4. Los Angeles is still the city with the worst ozone pollution. The city has claimed this position for nearly the entirety of the State of the Air report’s 19-year history. New York City, Chicago, Atlanta and Philadelphia are a few of the other cities that saw more unhealthy days with high ozone pollution*.

        On the other end of the spectrum, the six cleanest cities were found in Washington State, Vermont, Wyoming, Hawaii, Florida and North Carolina*.

      ALA offers the following recommendations for how you can help reduce pollution in your community*:
       

      • Don’t drive as often. Since vehicle emissions are a big source of air pollution, opt for biking, walking or using public transportation instead.
      • Limit your electricity consumption. Don’t forget to turn off the lights and shop for high-efficiency appliances.
      • Burning wood or trash is a no-no. Both of these contribute to particle pollution in many areas around the country.
      • Check that your local school system uses clean school buses. To help cut down on emissions, schools should either replace old school buses, or update them with new filters and other emission-reducing equipment.

      You can find our recap of the State of the Air 2017 report here.

      Sources:

      * American Lung Association (PDF, 2 MB)