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New Report: Chicago Receives Best-ever Ranking for Air Pollution

Lung Association ‘State of the Air’ 2017 Report

(April 19, 2017) -

CONTACT: James A. Martinez
American Lung Association
O: 312-445-2501
C: 312-718-5875

CHICAGO - The Chicago metro area reduced its ozone pollution to its lowest level ever. The ranking improved to 26th most polluted in 2017 from 21st in 2016. 

The results are reported in the American Lung Association’s State of the Air 2017 Report, which includes national air quality grades and rankings of cities across the nation based on ozone pollution (sometimes called smog) and particle pollution (sometimes called soot).

The report found that Cook County, IL, the most polluted county in the metro area for ozone, reduced its average of unhealthy days to its fewest ever, 8 days (an F) annually from 19 days in 2012-2014. The previous best had been in 2008-2010 when the annual average dropped to 10.2 days. All averages are based in the 2015 ozone standard.

Millions of Americans, including those in Chicago, live in counties and cities that have unhealthy levels of either ozone (smog) or particle pollution (soot)—the most common air pollutants that can cause asthma attacks, heart attacks, developmental and reproductive harm, lung cancer and even premature death. Find out if the air quality in your area is safe to breathe and learn about critical steps that the nation must take to continue to make progress toward cleaner, healthier air. 

About the American Lung Association in Greater Chicago
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association focuses on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

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