Ohio air quality gets mixed grades in ‘State of the Air 2018’ report


Cincinnati and Cleveland ranked among the 25 most polluted areas in the nation for year-round particle pollution, while counties in the Miami Valley earned grades from C to F for air quality affected by ozone in the American Lung Association's "State of the Air 2018" report.

The report, released Wednesday, shows mixed results for Ohio. Several areas in the state suffered more unhealthy days than in the 2017 report, according to lung association officials. 

The report documents how warmer temperatures brought by climate change make ozone more likely to form. According to the 2018 report, ozone levels increased in most cities nationwide, in large part because of rising temperatures in 2016, the second hottest year on record in the U.S. 

  • The nation's most polluted area by ozone? Los Angeles-Long Beach, Calif. 
  • The Cleveland-Akron-Canton area tied for 10th. 
  • The nation's most polluted area by year-round particle pollution? Fairbanks, Alaska. 
  • Cincinnati-Wilmington-Maysville (Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana) tied for 18th. 
  • The nation's most polluted area by short-term particle pollution? 
  • No areas in Ohio showed up in the top 25. 

Each year the “State of the Air” reports on the two most widespread outdoor air pollutants -- ozone pollution and particle pollution. The report analyzes particle pollution in two ways: through average annual particle pollution levels and short-term spikes in particle pollution. Both ozone and particle pollution are dangerous to public health and can be lethal. 

>> OTHER NEWS: Ohio counties hit by flooding in line for FEMA funding

Ozone (smog) is the most widespread air pollutant, created by the reaction of sunlight on emissions from vehicles and other sources. When ozone is inhaled, it irritates the lungs, like a bad sunburn. It can cause immediate health problems and continue days later. Ozone can cause wheezing, coughing, asthma attacks and premature death. 

Particle pollution levels can spike dangerously for hours to weeks on end (short-term) or remain at unhealthy levels on average every day (year-round). Particle pollution can penetrate deep into the lungs and even into the bloodstream, leading to premature deaths, asthma attacks and heart attacks, as well as lung cancer. 

“Across the nation, the report found continued improvement in air quality, but still, more than four in 10 Americans – 133.9 million – live in counties that have unhealthful levels of either ozone or particle pollution, where their health is at risk,” said Ken Fletcher, director of advocacy for the American Lung Association in Ohio. 

All Ohio counties with data, except Cuyahoga, received a passing grade on annual particle pollution. 

According to the lung association, the data for the report comes from official monitors for the two most widespread types of pollution -- ozone and particle pollution.

The report grades counties, ranking cities and counties based on scores calculated by average number of unhealthy days (for ozone and for short-term particle pollution) and by annual averages (for year-round particle pollution). 

Below are area counties with an ozone grade (first column) and particle pollution grade (second column)

Butler: F (no change from 2017)..... A (no change from 2017) 

Clark:  F (no change from 2017)..... A (no change from 2017) 

Greene:  C (no change from 2017)..... A (no change from 2017) 

Hamilton: F (no change from 2017)..... B (no change from 2017) 

Montgomery: D (Worsened from C in 2017)..... B (no change from 2017) 

Preble: C (Worsened from B in 2017)..... A (no change from 2017)


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Ohio State to test specialty retailer’s new concept shop
Ohio State to test specialty retailer’s new concept shop

Ohio State University will be one of two colleges in the United States to test a new Abercrombie & Fitch concept store. The New Albany, Ohio-headquartered apparel company will open a 3,350-square-foot campus shop in the Gateway District on High Street to serve as a “learning lab” in digital-physical retail integration, according to executive...
Chick-fil-A discontinuing Cow Calendar after this year
Chick-fil-A discontinuing Cow Calendar after this year

Chick-fil-A will no longer offer its Cow Calendar to customers after 2018. The company is instead moving more focus on its mobile app, Chick-fil-A One, which offers deals to customers after a number of purchases are registered through the app. >> Read more trending news  “We have made the difficult decision to retire our annual Cow...
Pickle-flavored cotton candy? Ohio candy store to sell new item
Pickle-flavored cotton candy? Ohio candy store to sell new item

Pucker up! Grandpa Joe’s is offering a new pickle-flavored, sweet treat. Grandpa Joe’s, which has locations in Miamisburg and Middletown, just added a new sour treat for candy lovers. Co-owner Tiffany Kelly said customers “love their pickles.” The candy shop saw a surge in popularity after introducing pickle-flavored soda at...
Cordray: DeWine is ‘squishy’ on union issues
Cordray: DeWine is ‘squishy’ on union issues

Ohio unions are under attack and need to be strengthened, Richard Cordray, the Democratic candidate for Ohio governor, told a convention of plumbers and pipefitters in Dayton on Thursday. Cordray brought a message tailor-made for unions to the convention at the Dayton Marriott, essentially rejecting any attempt to establish “right to work&rdquo...
Trump morphs into Putin on latest Time cover
Trump morphs into Putin on latest Time cover

Time magazine has put its on mark on the summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.  The graphic artists at the magazine have morphed the two leaders into one for its latest cover. >> Read more trending news  The illustration was created by Nancy Burson, a visual artist. The image, according to...
More Stories