2014 A.L.A. Clean Air Report

Girl Looking at the Sky

Are you ever curious about the air that you’re breathing in?

Last month, the American Lung Association released its State of the Air report for 2014. This report recorded and examined the levels of ozone and particle pollution in the United States from 2010 through 2012. Based on those air quality findings, the report assigned grades to every county in the country from which there was sufficient data.

Overall, the data showed that the nation’s air is much cleaner than it was a decade ago, but the air quality actually worsened in 2010-2012 when compared to previous years. The United States has seen continued reduction in both particle pollution and ozone.

How to Use the Tool

  1. Visit http://www.stateoftheair.org/
  2. Input your zip code or select your state in order to learn the air quality of your county.
  3. Grades for every county are given on an “A”-“F” and Pass-Fail scale. Understand the grade calculation and methodology
  4. Further your learning by visiting the Key Findings section for interesting facts, noteworthy trends, and more.
  5. Find the city nearest you on the City Rankings showing the cleanest and most polluted urban areas.
  6. Put all the information in context by learning the Health Risks associated with air quality and pollution.
  7. Download the report or the app.

State of the AirTrends

  • More than 6.7 million people with COPD live in counties that received an “F” for at least one pollutant. More than 1 million people with COPD live in counties failing all three tests.
  • More than 3.3 million senior citizens live in counties that failed all three air quality tests.
  • California showed up most in the Most Polluted Cities list, occupying spots 1-5 in each of the three major categories tracked.
  • Bangor, ME and Bismarck, ND were the only two cities to be cited in the top 5 of two “clean” categories, and two more (Cape Coral-Fort Myers FL and Salinas CA) made it onto all three lists.
  • More than 4 in 10 people in the United States (44.8%) live in areas with unhealthful levels of ozone.
  • 14.7% of people in the United States live in an area with unhealthy levels of particle pollution.

Further action

  • Join the “Fight” against air pollution.
  • The report also recommends the following:

Drive less. Use less electricity. Don’t burn wood or trash. Support measures in your community that can cut air pollution. Tell your local and state officials to take steps to clean up air pollution. Send a message to the EPA, President and members of Congress to tell them we need them to support cleaner, healthier air.

This report will be of interest to anyone who cares about air quality and better breathing. Inogen strives to help users achieve better breathing, but breathing is only as good as the air taken in. That’s why it’s important to learn what contributes to air quality, and how our environment and community can achieve better air quality in the future.


Photo credit: Flickr, @Kathleen Zarubin, girl looking to sky

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