JACKSONVILLE, FL | April 20, 2021
This year’s “State of the Air” report from the American Lung Association finds that Jacksonville’s air quality has remained mostly the same since last year’s report. See the full report at Lung.org/sota.
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.
“While we are happy to see that the area’s pollution hasn’t gotten worse, it is important to continue to work to improve air pollution,” said Ashley Lyerly, the director of advocacy for the Lung Association. “Ozone and particle pollution seen in the Jacksonville area can harm the health of all of our residents, but place our children, older adults and people living with lung disease particularly at risk.”
Ozone Pollution in Jacksonville
Compared to the 2020 report, Jacksonville experienced the same number of unhealthy days of high ozone in this year’s report. “State of the Air” found that Jacksonville again posted a weighted average of 0.3 days (a B grade) in 2017-2019, matching its performance on the previous two years’ reports.
Particle Pollution in Jacksonville
For year-round particle pollution, unfortunately, the Jacksonville area lacked sufficient data for the Lung Association to report this data. The report also tracked short-term spikes in particle pollution, which can be extremely dangerous and even lethal. The Jacksonville area was ranked as the 71st most polluted for short-term particle pollution, and received a “B” grade, which is the same as last year’s report.
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 Jacksonville, ozone and 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 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 Lung.org/sota 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.
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.