The American Lung Association released its 2016 State of the Air report and things don’t look good for Ada County. The report uses levels of ozone pollution from official air quality monitors across the U.S. to grade counties based on their air pollution levels. For high ozone days, the 2015 report gave Ada County a C, while in the 2016 report Ada County received a F.
Let me repeat, Ada County got an F for high ozone days. As a nurse, I’m extremely worried. F means our air quality places our residents at risk for premature death, aggravated asthma, difficulty breathing, cardiovascular harm and lower birth weight. This means real health impacts for our families.
While many other parts of the country are experiencing less ozone pollution, in the Treasure Valley we are worse than ever before. The American Lung Association report cites that changing climate and emissions are major drivers in worsening air quality. If we do not do something to clean up our power and transportation systems, we will experience worsening negative impacts.
The city of Boise can lead us in transitioning by acting to protect our health through a 100 percent clean energy goal.
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Marci Mattoon, Boise