Montgomery County's level of ozone has earned it an "F" in a new report by the American Lung Association.
The association's 2012 "State of the Air" report also found that the Philadelphia-Camden-Vineland metro area ranks among the 10 most polluted areas in the nation for year-round particle pollution.
“State of the Air shows that we’re making steady progress in cutting dangerous pollution from the air as a result of cleanup efforts required under the Clean Air Act," Deb Brown, president and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic, said in a news release.
"But millions of Americans across the country...are still forced to breathe unhealthy levels of air pollution as a result of air quality standards that are outdated."
According to the site, the report "looks at levels of ozone and particle pollution found in official monitoring sites across the United States in 2008, 2009, and 2010." (See page 40 of the included report for further methodology.)
How Other Counties Rate
Montgomery County isn't alone in getting an "F" for its ozone level. A majority of Pennsylvania's counties scored the same way.
Only one county—Cambria—recieved a B, the highest grade in the report for Pennsylvania. There were six counties that got a "C" and five that got a "D."
Among the other findings:
- Nearly 10 percent of the county's population—78,609 out of 799,874—has asthma.
- 27,392 people have chronic bronchitis.
- 12,751 people have emphysema.
- 214,482 people have cardiovascular disease.
How To Change It
On the State of the Air website, the American Lung Association says that to change improve Montgomery County's grade, residents need to:
Drive less. Use less electricity. 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 your Senators to tell them we need them to support cleaner, healthier air and to oppose measures to block or delay the cleanup of coal-fired power plants.
Are you someone with some sort of respiratory problem? Have you noticed a change in the air? Let us know in the comments section.