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News: State of the Air 2017 shows progress for GA and NC

News: State of the Air 2017 shows progress for GA and NC

In the Southeast, the Metro Atlanta area had the fewest ozone days reported since the report’s beginning 18 years ago. In the first SOTA, Atlanta was on the list of the top 25 metro areas for ozone pollution. The metro area made the list for the first time for cleanest cities for short-term particle pollution. The ranking for year round particle pollution was slightly worse, but it meets the national standard.

Vicki Carew, Atlanta,  Board member of Mothers & Others for Clean Air, a program of the American Lung Association of the Southeast, and mother of a child with asthma said, “As the parent of a teenage daughter who has dealt with asthma for many years, I know first-hand how poor air quality impacts my child. Our country needs to maintain, not weaken, standards like the Clean Air Act that protect the air that my daughter, and every single one of us breathes.”

In North Carolina, this year’s State of the Air report finds that some grades are much improved over previous years for the most common forms of hazardous air pollution, ozone and particulate matter (measured for both 24 hour periods and annual basis). The Charlotte-Concord area had the fewest ozone days reported since the report’s beginning 18 years ago. The metro area was listed as one of the cleanest cities for short-term particle pollution with no unhealthy days and showed improvement for year-round particle pollution. Wilmington made the report’s clean cities list for all three rankings.

“Children face special risks from air pollution because their lungs are growing and because they are so active.” said Dr. Jennifer Caicedo, MD, North Carolina’s Medical Home Champion for Allergy, Asthma and Anaphylaxis from the Allergy and Asthma Network, “Children spend more time outside, and are more active when out of doors. Therefore they inhale more air per pound of body weight than adults, and have more exposure to any pollution that is in the air.”

These improvements are not guaranteed in the future. As climate change continues, cleaning up air pollution will become ever more challenging. Climate change poses many threats to human health, including worsened air quality and extreme weather events.

To find out more about state and county rankings, check the complete 2017 State of the Air  report, and share it with leaders in your community, state, and members of Congress.