Friday, 23 August, 2019

Kern County's air quality continues to be some of worst in US

Colorado’s air quality is getting worse with growing population, new report says Eastern Carolina cities ranked high for clean air
Sandra Phillips | 25 April, 2019, 04:41

Seven million more American now live in counties with unhealthy, polluted air than did a year ago, according to a new report. That's 57 spots higher than last year's 98th place ranking. Lane County experienced a significant increase in unhealthy particle days and received an "F" grade in the report. The area also ended up at No. 17 for "short-term particle pollution".

The report says the Eugene-Springfield area is also now the 62nd most polluted area in the country for ozone pollution. Only six qualify as "cleanest", meaning they have no high ozone or high-particle-pollution days and rank among the 25 cities with the lowest year-round particle pollution.

"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 US", said Susannah Fuchs, director of health promotions, clean air, for the Lung Association. 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.

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The announcement drew swift objections from Turkey and China, which were among the countries that previously received such waivers.

The study, which used government data, found that nearly 141.1 million people were exposed to unhealthy air between 2015 and 2017, an increase from the 133.9 million people who were exposed past year.

Craft also noted the environmental policies of the Trump administration, which continue to roll back a range of protective measures, include loosening regulations on air pollution. Particle pollution comes from coal- and natural gas-fired plants, cars, agriculture, unpaved roads and construction sites. The 2018 report analyzed data from 2014, 2015 and 2016.

"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. Something needs to be done to prevent people from serious harm from the air quality, he said.

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