Across the nation, 46 percent, or 136 million people live in more than
200 counties where they are exposed to unhealthy air. Washington County
is among them. In fact, based on ozone alone, Washington County has
again received an F in the grading of air quality.
We deserve better.
week, the American Lung Association and its Ohio affiliate released
Ohio’s Air Quality Report Card. Across the state, the highest grade
given was a B, and most of the counties received a grade of C or worse.
Washington County was one of 15 counties to receive Fs for ozone.
Eleven counties received Fs for levels of particle pollution. Some
areas, like Washington County, don’t get a grade for particle
pollution, but that’s because the American Lung Association doesn’t
think the population is large enough to check for that.
We disagree and ask that all counties be included in the reporting of particle pollution in future report cards.
the state showed improvements in ozone, but the amount of particle
pollution is worse. What is particle pollution? That’s the type of
pollution that falls to the earth from coal-burning power plants.
There’s more of it, the study says, because these power plants are
generating more electricity.
All the more reason why it’s so important to conserve.
it’s also important that the state take action. The lung association is
asking that the state take a hard stance when it comes to making sure
power plants and other industry meet emission standards. Violations of
those standards matter. Pollution makes people sick.
we reported the number of children with asthma is on the rise and one
school nurse suggested as many as 10 percent of all city school
children suffer from asthma at some level. We mention this because
asthma is the type of condition brought on and agitated by the type of
pollution the report card rates.
Certainly, pollution controls
exist and many of the industrial plants in our area, coal burning and
otherwise, have taken steps over the years to reduce emissions. But we
must continue that diligence in an effort to further reduce emissions
and protect the health of local citizens.
There’s no quick fix
and the lung association report card is but one measurement of how well
we’re doing. But if the best grade we can get is an F, it’s clear our
air can improve. We must not settle for less.
• To find out more go to www.lungusa.org