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

L.A. ranked worst in ozone pollution again report says

The downtown Los Angeles skyline is seen from near the Griffith Park Observatory on Aug. 10 2016

This year's report covers the most recent quality-assured data available collected by states, cities, counties, tribes and federal agencies in 2015-2017.

"Massachusetts residents should be aware that we're breathing unhealthy air, driven by emissions from power plants and extreme heat as a result of climate change, placing our health and lives at risk", Elizabeth Hamlin-Berninger, American Lung Association director of advocacy in MA, said in a statement.

The American Lung Association (ALA) just gave Indianapolis an "F" grade when it comes to ozone pollution!

Eight city areas had recorded the highest number of days with unhealthy spikes in particle pollution since the American Lung Association started monitoring pollution this way: Fairbanks, Alaska; Missoula, Montana; Bismarck, North Dakota, Bend-Pineville, Oregon; Yakima and the Spokane-Spokane Valley-Coeur d'Alene area in Washington; and Salinas and Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, California.

"While Lincoln is one of the cleanest cities in the country for air quality, residents should be aware that unhealthy air quality days can happen as a result of high heat, power plant emissions and wildfires in the western USA", said Susannah Fuchs, director of health promotions, clean air, for the Lung Association. That was higher than the 59 days found in the three-year period ending in 2016.

As temperatures rise, ozone is more likely to form and becomes harder to clean up, the report stated. Bakersfield, Visalia, Los Angeles-Long Beach, San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland and El Centro also ranked in the top 10 of cities most polluted by year-round particle pollution. Wilmington has been ranked 13th for cleanest year-round particle pollution.

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

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.

"We have much cleaner vehicles, power plants are doing better, but a lot of this is challenged by the current administration's rollbacks and with climate change, because we have such extreme weather patterns of drought and wildfire and that can add to particle pollution", Nolen said.

The general increase in unhealthy air is "eye-opening", ALA president and CEO Harold Wimmer said in a statement.

The country as a whole recorded more days with hazardous air quality than ever from 2015 to 2017, the researchers said, defined as air that reaches "emergency conditions" on the government's air quality index.

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

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