WXXI: Poor Grade for Monroe County Air Quality

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ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) - Monroe County gets a failing grade for air quality. The American Lung Association's "State of the Air 2011" report has been released, and Monroe County gets an "F" for the number of days with ozone levels considered high enough to be unhealthy for sensitive groups. There were 13 days that met the threshold for the high ozone label.

The Lung Association gave Monroe County a grade of "B" for one short-term particle pollution day.

The Association's Vice President of Public Policy and Communications Michael Seilback says polluting elements come from vehicle engines and industrial sources, among others. He adds that Monroe County air is also affected by Midwestern coal mines, "So we have a mixture of both locally-produced pollution and pollution from several thousand miles away."

Overall, Rochester, Batavia and Seneca Falls tied for 37th on the list of cleanest cities. The report concludes nearly half the state's population -- 9 million people -- live in areas with unhealthy air that threatens their lives.