Connor, American Lung Association President and CEO. “We at the American Lung Association believe that the new ozone standard is not yet strong enough to protect human health—an opinion nearly all scientific experts share.” Particle Pollution State of the Air grades counties for both 24-hour and year-round particle pollution levels. Cities Most Polluted by Short-term Particle Pollution (24 Hour PM2.5) *Cities listed in rank order. Ozone is the most widespread form of air pollution. When inhaled, ozone irritates the lungs, resulting in something like a bad sunburn. Particle pollution is a toxic mix of microscopic soot, diesel exhaust, chemicals, metals and aerosols. Cities for Ozone Air Pollution *Cities below had equal scores. It is the most dangerous and deadly of the outdoor air pollutants that are widespread in America.
Thirteen cities had more days—or more severe days—of spikes than in last year’s report.
Fifty-eight percent of people in the United States live in counties with recorded unhealthy levels of ozone air pollution, measured against the tighter standard in effect since March 2008.
The new standard showed that unhealthy ozone levels are more widespread and more severe than previously recognized.
Some of the biggest sources of air pollution, including dirty power plants, dirty diesel engines and ocean-going vessels, also worsen global warming.
“The more we learn, the more urgent it becomes for us to take decisive action to make our air healthier,” added Nolan.