Once Again ‘State of the Air’ Report Reveals Jackson as One of the Cleanest Cities

American Lung Association 2023 “State of the Air” report highlights air quality in Jackson and across the Nation
Once again Jackson was named one of the top 25 best cities in the Nation for ozone pollution, according to the American Lung Association’s 2023 “State of the Air” report, which was released today. Nationally, the report found that nearly 120 million people, or more than one in three, in the U.S. live in counties that had unhealthy levels of ozone or particle pollution.

The Lung Association’s 24th annual “State of the Air” report grades Americans’ exposure to unhealthy levels of ground-level ozone air pollution, annual particle pollution and short-term spikes in particle pollution over a three-year period. This year’s report covers 2019-2021.

“Here in Jackson and across the Nation, we are seeing ozone pollution improving, thanks in big part to the success of the Clean Air Act. But there is more work to do,” said Ashley Lyerly, Senior Director of Advocacy for Mississippi 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, individuals 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.

Ground-level Ozone Pollution in Jackson
Like the past seven consecutive reports this year’s report revealed that Jackson experienced no unhealthy days of high ozone. “State of the Air” ranked Jackson as one of the cleanest cities for ozone pollution.  Hinds County received an “A” grade for ozone pollution.

Particle Pollution in Jackson
The report also tracked short-term spikes in particle pollution, which can be extremely dangerous and even deadly. Jackson’s short-term particle pollution improved in this year’s report, which means there were fewer unhealthy days. The area is tie ranked 118th worst for short-term particle pollution. Hinds County received a “B” grade for short-term particle pollution.

The 2023 “State of the Air” found that year-round particle pollution levels in Jackson were slightly higher than in last year’s report. The area was ranked 29th most polluted for year-round particle pollution, worse than the tied ranking of 33rd last year. Jackson continues to meet the national standard but has the third worst year-round level for particle pollution in the Southeast.  

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 Lung.org/SOTA.

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