In the air

BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico • Posted: Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Close to half the U.S. population has lived with and breathed polluted air, according to a new report out today from the American Lung Association . The group’s annual “State of the Air” report, which examines data on ozone pollution and particle pollution, found more cities are experiencing more days with spikes in particle pollution compared to last year’s report. Nine of the most polluted cities reached their most days ever reported.

The report found that 15 cities among the 26 most polluted by annual particles were located in the western region of the United States. More than 53.3 million people live in an area with “too many days” with unhealthful levels of particle pollution, and more than 21.2 million people suffered from unhealthy year-round levels of particle pollution in 2016-2018, according to the report. It also found a significant growth in the number of people who suffered unhealthy ozone pollution compared with the last three reports; More than 137 million people lived in areas earning a failing grade for ozone pollution.