Lung Association Report: Jackson Receives Mixed Grades for Air Quality

Report reveals higher year-round particle pollution, but one of cleanest cities for ozone

This year’s “State of the Air” report from the American Lung Association finds that Jackson received mixed grades for air pollution. See the full report at

The Lung Association’s annual air quality “report card” tracks and grades Americans’ exposure to unhealthful levels of particle pollution (also known as soot) and ozone (smog) over a three-year period – this year’s report covers 2017-2019.

“The levels of particle pollution seen in Jackson can harm the health of all of our residents, but place our children, older adults and people living with lung disease particularly at risk,” said Ashley Lyerly, the director of advocacy for the Lung Association. “Fortunately, the area was named one of the cleanest cities for ozone pollution, meaning that there were no unhealthy air quality days for this common pollutant.”

Ozone Pollution in Jackson
Jackson experienced no unhealthy air quality days for ozone pollution during the years 2017-2019. The area was given an “A” grade for ozone pollution. 

Particle Pollution in Jackson
The “State of the Air” report found that year-round particle pollution levels in Jackson were higher compared to last year’s report. The area was ranked 56th most polluted for year-round particle pollution (worse compared to a ranking of 69th worst last year). The report also tracked short-term spikes in particle pollution, which can be extremely dangerous and even lethal. Jackson was ranked 71st most polluted, compared to a ranking of 84th last year. 

The “State of the Air” report found that nationwide, more than 4 in 10 people (135 million) lived with polluted air, placing their health and lives at risk. In Jackson, particle pollution placed its residents at risk, including those who are more vulnerable to the effects of air pollution, such as older adults, children and people with a lung disease. The report also shows that nationally, people of color were 61% more likely to live in a county with unhealthy air than white people, and three times more likely to live in a county that failed all three air quality grades. The report also finds that climate change made air quality worse and harder to clean up.

The report analyzes particle pollution in two ways: average annual levels and short-term spikes. Both ozone and particle pollution can cause premature death and other serious health effects such as asthma attacks and cardiovascular damage, and are linked to developmental and reproductive harm. Particle pollution can also cause lung cancer.

Learn more about “State of the Air” at and sign the petition for the Biden Administration to promote clean air, a safe climate and environmental justice. Media interested in speaking with an expert about lung health, clean air and threats to air quality can contact Jill Dale at [email protected] or at 312-940-7001. 

For more information, contact:

Jill Dale
[email protected]

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