American Lung Association Report: Idaho’s Air Quality Harmful to Health; 1 in 3 Nationwide Exposed to Unhealthy Air

American Lung Association 2023 “State of the Air” report highlights air quality in Idaho and across the nation
The American Lung Association’s 24th annual “State of the Air” report highlights that despite decades of progress in cleaning the air, Idahoans still face exposure to poor air quality. Four counties receive an F grade for short term particle pollution and one county receives an F for ozone pollution.

Boise’s air quality has worsened since last year’s report, according to the American Lung Association’s 2023 “State of the Air” report, which was released today. Boise ranked #21 for short-term particle pollution, experiencing more bad air quality days than in previous reports. Boise ranked #38 for ozone (was #117 in last year’s report) and experienced more high ozone days. The ranking improved for year-round particles, ranked #156 in this year’s report. Ada county received an F for ozone and a D for short-term particle pollution.

Idaho counties receiving an F for short-term particle pollution includes Benewah, Canyon, Franklin, and Shoshone.

“As we can see from this year’s report data, there is much work to be done in Boise and around our state to improve our air quality,” said Heather Kimmel, Division Director of Health Promotions for the American Lung Association. “Even one poor air quality day is one too many for our residents at highest risk, such as children, older adults, those who are pregnant and those living with chronic disease. That’s why we are calling on lawmakers at the local, state and federal levels to take action to ensure that everyone has clean air to breathe.”

Nationally, the report found that ozone pollution has generally improved across the nation, thanks in large part to the success of the Clean Air Act. However, more work remains to fully clean up harmful pollution, and short-term particle pollution continues to get worse. In addition, some communities bear a greater burden of air pollution. Out of the nearly 120 million people who live in areas with unhealthy air quality, a disproportionate number – more than 64 million (54%) – are people of color. In fact, people of color were 64% more likely than white people to live in a county with a failing grade for at least one measure, and 3.7 times as likely to live in a county with a failing grade for all three measures.

The American Lung Association is calling on President Biden to urgently move forward on several measures to clean up air pollution nationwide, including new pollution limits on ozone and particle pollution and new measures to clean up power plants and vehicles. See the full report results and sign the petition at
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