Cleveland Air Quality Is Still Bad, But Getting Better Every Year

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Air pollution in Cleveland is still bad, but it’s getting better, according to a new report released this week.

For more than a decade now, the American Lung Association has been issuing reports about air quality in cities and counties. Northeast Ohio has always been at the bottom of the pile nationally in terms of clean air. But there’s been marked improvement over the years and this year is no exception.  "Cleveland actually improved a lot in its ozone this year. It had much fewer days of higher levels of ozone.  The best news was that even though it still ranked 10th most polluted in the country, it improved its year-round [particle pollution] levels to its lowest levels yet and that’s a good sign," said Janice Nolen, assistant vice president of national policy at the American Lung Association.

The report tracks bad ozone and particle pollution, both of which can worsen asthma and shorten lives. Particle pollution is also tied to an increase in heart attacks and strokes, low birth weight babies, and an increased risk for lung cancer.

Nolen says the work over the years to clean up coal-fired power plants and diesel engines is responsible for the improvements in air quality, and she is optimistic that new regulations coming down the pike will lead to even more progress.

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At you can type in your zipcode and see how your region's air quality compares to others.

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