American Lung Association's 2004 State of the Air report ranks cities and counties with dirty air

days has been linked to premature death, heart attacks and stroke.
  • The 3.6 million adults and a 1.4 million children with asthma exposed to unhealthy year-round particle levels; and
  • The 2.6 million with chronic bronchitis and 888,000 with emphysema living in areas with dangerous short-term particle pollution.
  • According to the report:

    • Twenty-eight percent (more than 81 million) of the U.S. population lives in areas with unhealthy short-term levels of particle pollution;
    • Nearly one-quarter of Americans (66 million) live in areas with unhealthy year-round levels of particle pollution; and
    • Nearly half of all Americans (136 million) live in counties with unhealthy levels of ozone, despite substantial reductions in ozone in the thirty-four years spent fighting the problem.
    • All totaled, some 159 million Americans live in counties with unhealthy levels of either ozone or short-term levels or year-round levels of particle pollution.
    • Most alarmingly, 46 million Americans live in counties where all three levels are unhealthy.

    How Air Quality is Measured

    American Lung Association State of the Air: 2004 uses air quality measurements made by state and local agencies and reported to EPA for the years 2000 through 2002 to assign grades A through F and Pass/Fail to counties in three categories: 1) daily particle pollution levels 2) year-round particle pollution levels and 3) daily ozone levels. Grades are based on how often air quality levels reach "unhealthful" amounts under EPA's Air Quality Index for short-term levels of particle pollution and ozone. Pass/Fail grades for the year-round levels of particle pollution are based on EPA's own analysis.

    Administration Proposals Jeopardize Clean Air Act

    Despite progress toward cleaner air over the past 30 years, the American Lung Association is greatly concerned about roa

    Contact: Cathy Renna and Liza Cichowski
    American Lung Association

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