2012 NWI Air Quality Report
The American Lung Association’s “State of the Air 2013” report out today finds that Northwest Indiana is ranked 31st out of 239 metro areas in the nation for high ozone days. The weighted average is 8.5 days with high ozone — worse than the 5.2 days in 2012, but much better than the 25.5 days in the 2005 report. Lake and Porter Counties both got a “C” grade in ozone, but the Lung Association report says LaPorte County dropped from a “C” in 2012 to an “F”.
There is also more particle pollution in Northwest Indiana, with an average of 6.3 days in 2013…up slightly from an average of 6 days from 2009-2011, resulting in a rank of 16th most polluted metro area in the nation. The American Lung Association says Lake County, the most polluted, received an “F” for short-term particle pollution because of too many days of unhealthy particle levels. Porter County received a “C” for particle pollution, and LaPorte County received an “A.”
Meghan McNulty with the Lung Association says the air in Northwest Indiana is certainly cleaner than in the first ‘State of the Air’ report issued 14 years ago. But she says “the work is not done, and we must set stronger health standards for pollutants and cleanup sources of pollution.”
Ozone (smog) is the most widespread air pollutant, created by the reaction of sunlight on emissions from vehicles and other sources. When ozone is inhaled, it irritates the lungs, like a bad sunburn. It can cause immediate health problems that continue days later. Ozone can cause wheezing, coughing, asthma attacks and premature death.