Cincinnati Among Worst for Smog, Soot Pollution

Cincinnatiand Hamilton County fared poorly on a national list of places withpolluted air that was released last week. TheCincinnati-Middletown-Wilmington metropolitan region ranked as theeighth-worst for air particle pollution, according to the AmericanL

Cincinnati and Hamilton County fared poorly on a national list of places with polluted air that was released last week.

The Cincinnati-Middletown-Wilmington metropolitan region ranked as the eighth-worst for air particle pollution, according to the American Lung Association.

Meanwhile, Hamilton County was given an “F” grade for its number of high ozone days and a “D” grade for air particle pollution by the Lung Association.

The rankings were included in the group’s “State of the Air 2012” report. The annual air quality document grades cities and counties based, in part, on the color-coded Air Quality Index developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The 13th annual report uses the most recent, quality-controlled EPA data collected from 2008-10 from official monitors for ozone (smog) and particle pollution (soot), the two most widespread types of air pollution.

More than 40 percent of people in the United States live in areas where air pollution continues to threaten their health. That means more than 127 million people are living in counties with dangerous levels of either ozone or particle pollution that can cause wheezing and coughing, asthma attacks, heart attacks or premature death.

The Cincinnati region ranked 21st for high ozone days out of 277 metropolitan areas. Also, it ranked 39th for air particle pollution.

Still, the region is improving. The region has had 19.4 fewer high ozone days annually on average since 1996 and 10 fewer high-particle pollution days since 2000.

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