Lung Association Gives Philadelphia an "F"

The report was released last week.

The level of ozone in Philadelphia has gotten the county 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 as the number 10 most polluted city in the nation for year-round particle pollution.

In this case, "ozone" and "particle pollution" are just another way of saying "smog" and "soot."

Over the last year, Philadelphia had 34 orange days (days when the air quality index is unhealthy for sensitive groups) and one red day (days when the air quality index is unhealthy for everyone). You can check the daily air quality index on airnow.gov.

“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, including residents of the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton metro area, are still forced to breathe unhealthy levels of air pollution as a result of air quality standards that are outdated."

Philadelphia isn't alone in getting an "F" for its ozone level. A majority of Pennsylvania's counties scored the same way.

Only two counties -- Cambria and Franklin -- recieved B's, 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 Philadelphia's population -- 150,355 out of 1,526,006 -- has asthma.
  • 49,215 people have chronic bronchitis.
  • 20,494 people have emphysema.
  • 363,700 people have cardiovascular disease.

Have you noticed a change in the air? Let us know in the comments section.

Patricia Benson May 01, 2012 at 05:41 PM
I will try to be more aware of the carbon footprint I leave. This report should be an incentive for smokers who need to quit.
Wade Roberts January 17, 2013 at 03:21 PM
Why do so many in our country (people, politicians, & organizations) attempt to control our personal habits through legislation and/or taxation? When did Americans become a "me too" society where rights are continuously restricted and government allowed to determine our actions? This country was founded on principals of freedom, not a socialist community (ie welfare & Obamacare) or an oppressive regime (taxation on personal habits). If people want to smoke, it's their decision, as long as they operate according to the law (with smoking bans already oppressive) they should not have to pay more $ because the American Lung association decides it so. Our country is made up of hypocrites, these same people screaming from the mountain tops about how smoking kills & 2nd hand smoke is worse than our normal "quality" of air, make up many of the same groups who consume food & alcohol in excess. Our countries obesity and alcohol related issues are so much more commonplace, expensive, and deadly, yet McDonalds & Budweiser act with impunity. Why not remove alcohol from restaurants (think 2nd hand smoke is bad, drunk drivers are worse) and if your overweight shouldn't you be taxed? Think being taxed for being overweight is an insane thought? Many would have felt the same about smoking being prohibited in public parks 15 years ago. Point being this dictation of rights is a slippery slope & government should have less say in our day-to-day lives, not more. Wade Roberts


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