My Fox NY: New York Air Quality Receives Failing Grades

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Published : Wednesday, 27 Apr 2011

MYFOXNY.COM - A new American Lung Association report claims that New York City's air is some of the dirtiest in the country.

Its 2011 State of the Air report claims that more than nine million New Yorkers live in unhealthy air conditions that threaten their health.

In New York City, three counties failed for ozone and the Bronx also failed for particle pollution.

The report says the Bronx is the dirtiest spot in the metro area for both short-term and annual particle pollution. Bronx County earned an "F" for short-term particle pollution. It was the only county in the state to receive a failing grade in the category this year.

Manhattan, which was not graded for ozone last year due to inconclusive data, received an "F" this year for the ozone pollutant.

Staten Island also received an "F" for ozone pollution.

There is good news. The report found that New York City's air is getting cleaner. The area experienced fewer unhealthy air days in 2010 than 2009.

Ozone is the most widespread air pollutant. It is a gas formed most often when sunlight reacts with vapors emitted when motor vehicles, factories, power plants and other sources burn fuel, according to the Lung Association.

Breathing in ozone irritates the respiratory tract and causes health problems like asthma attacks, coughing, wheezing, chest pain and even premature death.

Particle pollution is a deadly mix of ash, soot, diesel exhaust, chemicals, metals and aerosols. They can land deep within the lungs, triggering serious problems such as asthma and heart attacks, strokes, and lung cancer.