American Lung Association American Lung Association State of the Air 2005--Protect the Air You Breathe
American Lung Association State of the Air 2005

Table of Contents

Executive Summary


National and Regional Analyses

Populations at Risk in the US
People at Risk in the 25 Most Polluted US Cities
People at Risk in the 25 Most Polluted Counties
Populations at Risk in the Most Polluted Counties in Each State
Cleanest Cities in the US
Cleanest Counties in the US

Health Effects of Ozone and Particle Pollution
Particle Pollution
Ozone Pollution
Focusing on Children's Health

Protecting the Nation From Air Pollution
The Clean Air Act: Public Health at Risk
Rolling Back Power Plant Clean Up
Recent Clean Air Act Success Stories

Dirty, Dangerous Diesel


State Tables

Appendix A: Description of Methodology

National and Regional Analysis cont'd

Regional Analysis

Region 5: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin

The upper Midwest states in Region 5 had the most cities with the worst year-round particle pollution levels and ranked second only to the California-dominated Region 9 for the number of cities or parts of cities with the most unhealthful ozone days. This region also had the third highest number of cities ranked worst for particle pollution days. The presence of so many cities from the upper Midwest on the ozone list is due, in part, to the improvement in ozone levels in the Southeast, which had previously had many cities listed.

Three upper Midwest cities made all three lists of most polluted cities. Detroit-Warren-Flint, MI ranked 6th worst for year-round particle pollution, 11th worst for unhealthful short-term particle pollution days and 20th worst for ozone days. Cleveland-Akron-Elyria, OH ranked 8th worst for short-term unhealthful particle pollution days, 8th worst for year-round particle pollution, and 14th worst for ozone pollution. Chicago-Naperville-Michigan City, IL-IN-WI showed up for the first time on all three lists, tied for 12th worst for year-round particles, and ranking 13th worst for short-term particles and 22nd worst for ozone.

Others on the list for worst ozone days were Youngstown-Warren-East Liverpool, OH-PA at 18th, Columbus-Marion-Chillicothe, OH, at 19th and Sheboygan, WI at 22nd. Three other metropolitan areas in the upper Midwest ranked on the list for worst particle pollution days. Louisville-Elizabethtown-Scottsburg, KY-IN tied for 13th; Weirton-Steubenville, WV-OH ranked 17th; and Cincinnati-Middletown-Wilmington, OH-KY-IN ranked 18th. Eight other upper Midwest cities or parts of cities ranked on the worst year-round particle list: Cincinnati-Middletown-Wilmington, OH-KY-IN and Weirton-Steubenville, WVOH tied at 10th; St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington, MO-IL at 14th; Canton-Massillon, OH tied at 15th; Louisville-Elizabethtown-Scottsburg, KY-IN at 21st; Indianapolis-Anderson-Columbus, IN and Columbus-Marion-Chillicothe, OH, tied at 22nd; and Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH tied for 24th.

The Duluth, MN-WI metropolitan area ranked as the 19th cleanest city for year-round particle pollution and made the list of cleanest cities for ozone pollution as well. Other clean cities for ozone in the region are Fargo-Wahpeton, NDMN, and Wausau-Merrill, WI.

Only one county in the upper Midwest ranked on the list of most ozone-polluted counties: Geauga, OH at 23rd. Six counties ranked among the counties most polluted by short-term and year-round particle-pollution: Cuyahoga, OH ranked at 11th on both lists; Wayne, MI ranked 8th on the year-round list and 15th on the short-term; Lake County, IN at 15th on the year-round and 17th on the short-term; Jefferson County, OH tied at 13th on the year-round and ranked 21st on the shortterm; Hamilton County, OH tied at 13th on the year-round and ranked 23rd on the short-term; and Cook County, IL, at 19th on the year-round and tied at 21st on the short-term. In addition, three other counties ranked on the list of worst for yearround particle pollution: Madison County, IL, at 17th; Stark County, OH, at 19th; and Scioto County, OH, at 22nd.

Illinois had two counties that improved their ozone grades, including Hamilton County, which improved from an F to a D. However, other counties’ ozone levels were generally unchanged. Two counties improved their short-term particle pollution grades, while two dropped and other counties remained the same. Two Illinois counties reduced their year-round levels of air pollution and reached passing grades.

Two Indiana counties improved their grades for unhealthful short-term particle pollution days, including Clark County, which improved from an F to a D. Three other counties dropped one grade, while most counties remained about the same. Ozone days also remained the same in most counties. Three counties in Indiana reduced their year-round levels of air pollution and reached passing grades.

In Michigan, six counties had slight increases in days with unhealthy shortterm particle pollution resulting in a drop of one grade. Ozone days increased significantly, and two counties grades dropped from a D to an F. There were no changes in grades in Michigan for year-round particle pollution.

Minnesota’s air quality remains good overall. Three counties improved their grades for short-term particle pollution, and although two counties’ grades dropped slightly, the majority remain the same. There were no changes in grades in Minnesota for year-round particle pollution.

By contrast, several Ohio counties were ranked among the most polluted in the nation. Four counties ranked on the list of most polluted year-round by particle pollution: Cuyahoga County ranked 11th; Hamilton County and Jefferson County tied at 13th; Stark County ranked 19th; and Scioto County ranked 22nd. Geauga County ranked 23rd worst for ozone pollution in the nation, while Cuyahoga County and Hamilton County ranked 11th and 23rd worst for short-term pollution. Overall, the ozone grades in Ohio counties remain relatively unchanged although several counties saw an increase in unhealthful days. Lawrence County’s grade for short-term particle pollution improved, but most counties had about the same number of unhealthful days. Two counties reduced their yearround particle pollution and improved their grades from failing to passing. However, Lucas County’s grade for year round particle pollutin dropped from a passing to a failing grade.

Wisconsin counties report few days with unhealthful levels of short-term particle pollution, with the exception of Milwaukee County. Two counties improved their short-term particle pollution grades in 2001-2003. One county, Vilas, ranked 23rd among the cleanest counties in the nation for year-round levels of particles. By contrast, ozone levels are a more widespread problem in Wisconsin. The Sheboygan metropolitan area ranked 22nd worst for ozone pollution. While two counties’ grades improved, three declined. Many counties reported the same or more unhealthful ozone days. There were no changes to grades for year-round particle pollution in Wisconsin.

Region 6: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas

Two metropolitan areas in Texas ranked on the list of most ozone-polluted cities: Houston, TX (the Houston-Baytown-Huntsville, TX metro area) ranked at 6th worst and Dallas-Fort Worth, TX ranked at 8th worst. Harris County, TX and Tarrant County, TX ranked as the 8th and 11th most ozone-polluted counties as well. Good news for some Texans: both Brownsville-Harlingen-Raymondville and Laredo, TX, made the list of cleanest cities for ozone.

Texas reduced the number of days with unhealthful levels of ozone so that five counties improved their failing grades to a D or a C. Harris County had fewer days, but still remains the nation’s 8th most ozone-polluted county; while Tarrant County, the nation’s 11th most polluted, had more unhealthful ozone days in 2001-2003. Only El Paso County received an F for short-term particle pollution. No Texas counties reported unhealthful levels of year-round particle pollution.

Ozone grades for Arkansas counties remained the same, although the counties with the most ozone problems, Crittenden and Pulaski, had significantly fewer high ozone days. Particle pollution is generally not a problem in Arkansas.

Louisiana parishes saw significant improvement in ozone days with six improving from an F to a C, and six others improving by one or two grades. One city, Fort Polk South-DeRidder, LA, made the list of least ozone-polluted cities. Particle pollution levels remain consistently good in the state.

New Mexico continues to have generally good ozone and particle pollution levels. Farmington, NM ranks as one of the cleanest cities in the nation, landing on all three lists. Santa Fe- Espanola ranks as the 2nd cleanest city for year-round levels of particle pollution. Four counties ranked on the list of cleanest counties year-round for particle pollution: Santa Fe, which tied for 4th cleanest; Grant County, tied for 16th; and Bernalillo County and San Juan County, tied for 23th. Two counties improved one grade each for ozone.

Five counties in Oklahoma improved their ozone grades in 2001-2003; however, Tulsa County had more ozone days and monitoring data weren’t available for another perennial high ozone county, Jefferson. Oklahoma continues to have very few days with unhealthful short-term particle pollution levels.

Regional Analysis continued...

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