Climate change increasing effects of air pollution across US, says American Lung Association

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FILE – This Dec. 12, 2018, file photo shows traffic on the Hollywood Freeway in Los Angeles. President Donald Trump’s is expected to mark a win in his two-year fight to gut one of the United States’ single-biggest efforts against climate change, relaxing ambitious Obama-era vehicle mileage standards and raising the ceiling on damaging fossil fuel emissions for years to come. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Climate change is leading to an increase in air pollution. The American Lung Association says high ozone and peaks in particle pollution followed in three out of five of the hottest years recorded globally, included in their 2020 State of the Air report.

N.Y. received a passing grade overall, but eight counties, where air pollution is monitored, were given a failing grade from the American Lung Association. Grades were based on short-term/year-round particle pollution and ozone from 2016-2018.

All three years ranked among the five hottest years in history, increasing high ozone days and widespread wildfires, putting millions more people at risk and adding challenges to the work cities are doing across the nation to clean up. Rollbacks of EPA cleanup rules and reduced Clean Air Act enforcement are further adding to these air quality challenges.

American Lung Association

Albany and Saratoga counties are the only two Capital Region counties included in the report. Albany received a passing grade of C but it’s a step down from the grade of B received in the 2019 State of the Air report. Saratoga County also received a grade of C.

Burlington, Vermont was on the top ten list for cleanest cities for ozone, year-round and short-term particle pollution. Springfield, Massachusetts also made the top ten list for cleanest cities for short-term particle pollution.

NY Counties that received a failing grade for high ozone days

  • Bronx
  • New York
  • Putnam
  • Queens
  • Richmond
  • Rockland
  • Suffolk
  • Westchester

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