Maryland-According to the 2021 "State of the Air" report released this week by the American Lung Association, more than 40% of Americans live in areas with unhealthy levels of ozone or particulate pollution, and many Maryland residents are one of them.
The report has divided three air quality levels for each jurisdiction-one: ozone pollution, short-term particulate pollution, and annual particulate pollution. Air quality data is collected from official monitoring points operated by federal, state, local, and tribal governments.
In Maryland, the report scored "F" for ozone in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Cecil, Harford, Prince George's counties, and Baltimore City. Kent County got a "D" Dorchester, Frederick and Montgomery's counties got a "C"; Calvert, Carroll, Charles, and Washington counties all got b Garrett County is the only state in Maryland A county that won a
All jurisdictions in Maryland that report data have passed the 24-hour particle pollution and annual particle pollution tests.
Most live in unhealthy air
Since 2000, the American Lung Association has published its "State of the Air" report every year around Earth Day. The association pointed out that since last year's report, there has been some progress-the number of people living in areas with unhealthy air has decreased by 14.8 million people. Researchers mainly attribute this to the reduction in ozone pollution levels.
When exhaust gases, chimneys, and other sources of gas come into contact with sunlight, ozone pollution is formed, commonly referred to as smog. According to the American Lung Association, it is "one of the most dangerous and widespread pollutants in the United States."
Particulate pollution is a mixture of tiny solid and liquid particles in the air.
The report said: "The high ozone days and the surge in particulate pollution caused by extreme heat and wildfires are putting millions of people at risk and posing challenges to the work done by states and cities in the United States to control air pollution."
Increased risk in some communities
Researchers have found that the risk of breathing polluted air in minority communities is significantly higher. Non-whites are 61% more likely to live in counties that fail in at least one category than whites, and they are more than three times more likely to live in places that fail in all three categories.
Of the three counties, 13 counties are mostly urban areas with a population of nearly 20.7 million, including 14 million ethnic minority residents.
The report also ranked the most polluted cities among the three types of cities. Among the 25 cities in these three types of cities, California accounted for the majority.
Los Angeles is still the city with the worst ozone pollution. Bakersfield, California has the worst annual particulate pollution, and Fairbanks, Alaska has the worst short-term particulate pollution.
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