Kent County’s Air Quality Ranks Poorly in Study

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Michigan–and Kent County–rank poorly in a new study of air pollution by the American Lung Association. The organization’s annual “State of the Air” report found that 60% of people in the United States live in areas with high levels of air pollution.

The American Lung Association warns that “breathing polluted air can seriously harm your health and even shorten your life.”

HIGH OZONE DAYS IN KENT COUNTY

Ozone (O3) is an extremely reactive gas molecule composed of three oxygen atoms. It is the primary ingredient of smog air pollution and is very harmful to breathe. Ozone attacks lung tissue by reacting chemically with it.

  • Ozone Grade: F
  • Weighted Average: 12.2
  • Orange Ozone Days: 35
  • Red Ozone Days: 1
  • Purple Ozone Days: 0

PARTICLE POLLUTION – 24 HOUR IN KENT COUNTY

Particle pollution refers to a mix of very tiny solid and liquid particles that are in the air we breathe. Its produced by either mechanical or chemical processes including burning fossil fuels in factories and power plants.

  • Grade: F
  • Weighted Average: 6.5
  • Orange Particle Days: 18
  • Red Particle Days: 1
  • Purple Particle Days: 0

PARTICLE POLLUTION – Annual

  • Grade: Pass
  • Design Value 12.8

GROUPS AT RISK IN KENT COUNTY

Air pollution disproportionately affects certain groups, whether they be people of color or children. In Kent County, there are many populations who are at an increased risk.

  • Pediatric Asthma: 14,936
  • Adult Asthma: 41,744
  • Chronic Bronchitis: 14,665
  • Emphysema: 6,880
  • Cardiovascular Disease: 151,982
  • Diabetes: 32,290
  • Total Population: 604,330
  • Population Under 18: 164,289
  • Population 65 & Over: 62,419

Overall, Michigan ranked poorly in the study. The Detroit/Warren/Flint area was in the top 10 worst cities for both pollution incidents over 24-hour periods and particle pollution. No cities in Michigan were listed among the cleanest cities.

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Author: mediamouse

Grand Rapids independent media // mediamouse.org