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)