Mother Lode Counties Receive F Grades in Air Quality Report

Mother Lode Counties Receive F Grades in Air Quality Report

The report looks at the two most widespread outdoor air pollutants: ozone pollution, also known as smog, and particle pollution, or soot.

The American Lung Association puts together this report every year and Ellen Penrod, the executive director for the American Lung Association in Colorado, says ozone has an impact on our lungs.

For years the air quality in Kern County has been considered among the worst in the United States.

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The American Lung Association ranked Denver as the 12th most polluted city in the nation for ozone in its annual "State of the Air" report.

The American Lung Association says the biggest things Colorado can do to change this is support clean air legislation and take alternative transportation to reduce cars on the roads as well as becoming more conscious of our energy consumption. Both ozone and particle pollution are unsafe to public health and can increase the risk of premature death and other serious health effects such as lung cancer, asthma attacks, cardiovascular damage, and developmental and reproductive harm. After several years of improvement, the seven-county Denver metro area saw an increase in the number of high-ozone days during that period, putting hundreds of thousands of residents at greater risk of negative health effects.

She said the ozone is particularly unsafe for sensitive groups, like people with asthma or other lung diseases, and older adults. That's 57 spots higher than last year's 98th place ranking. Those with the lowest pollution levels were primarily along the northern California coast, and lesser populated areas near the OR border. "Year-round particle pollution levels have dropped thanks to the cleanup of coal-fired power plants and the retirement of old, dirty diesel engines".

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