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State of the Air Report Shows Improvements in Northeast Ohio's Air Quality


Large parts of Ohio were under air quality warnings this week, and Columbusissued its first ever smog alert in April as temperatures spiked on Monday.

But areport released today shows that overall, air quality in Northeast Ohio is improving.

The American Lung Associationreleased its annual State of the Air report today.  It’s a county-by-county look at ozone and particulate pollution.

Lyndsay Moseley is director of the American Lung Association's Healthy Air Campaign. She says air quality in Northeast Ohio is improving but more work needs to be done.

Lyndsay Moseley is director of the association’s Healthy Air Campaign.  She says although it still received a failing grade this year, the air quality in Cuyahoga County has been steadily improving.

“It’s good news compared to last year in the Cleveland area. In fact, it’s the best year round particle pollution that the Cleveland area has ever seen."

 Moseley says the trend is moving in the right direction, but problems remain.

“The Cleveland and Akron area is still among the top 25 most polluted cities for their year-round particle pollution -  11th most polluted in the county.” 

Moseley says tiny particles from the burning of fossil fuels lodge in our lungs and can lead to asthma, lung cancer and heart disease.

The good news is that Cleveland experienced the best year-round particle pollution ever.

Moseley credits stricter guidelines on vehicle emissions and coal-fired plants for the improvements.

But she says, a warming climate could lead to worsening air quality unless further steps are taken.

Jeff St. Clair is the midday host for Ideastream Public Media.