More than four in 10 Americans live in areas with unhealthful levels of ozone or particle pollution, according to the American Lung Association.
And Atlanta ranked 23th among the country’s most polluted city for ozone in the nation in the association’s 2018 “State of the Air” report.
“The 2018 'State of the Air' report finds that unhealthful levels of smog, year-round particles and short-term particle pollution in Atlanta put our citizens at risk for premature death and other serious health effects such as asthma attacks and greater difficulty breathing for those living with a lung disease like COPD,” June Deen, senior vice president of public policy and health promotions of the American Lung Association in Georgia, said in a news release.
Members of the nonprofit called on Congress to defend the Clean Air Act and the Environmental protection Agency to help fight climate change and reduce air pollution through policy enforcement.
The 2018 report, which included data on air pollution trends from 2014-2016, found that Fulton County was the most polluted county in the metro area with an average 10.2 days of unhealthy ozone levels in the two-year span.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality Index is commonly used for reporting daily air quality.
The AQI values, which are calculated for the four major air pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act (ground level ozone, particle pollution, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide) run from a range of 0 to 500, with the 301-500 range signifying hazardous air quality conditions. This hazardous range is considered a Code Maroon.
A value of 50 represents good air quality with little potential to harm public health, but AQI values under 100 are generally considered satisfactory.
You can check the daily AQI values via the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
Georgia’s Ambient Air Monitor Program monitors the air quality at stations around the state, and you can see live updates for current conditions at each of these stations at their site. or on the map below.