American Lung Association Report: Detroit No Longer One of the Nation’s Dirtiest Cities

American Lung Association 2023 “State of the Air” report highlights air quality in Detroit and across the nation
Detroit’s air quality has improved since last year’s report, according to the American Lung Association’s 2023 “State of the Air” report, which was released today. The metro area’s ozone pollution improved over last year’s report and is no longer among the nation’s dirtiest cities for ozone. In fact, this is the fewest days for ozone ever seen in the Detroit metro area.

Detroit moved out of the top 25 list and is now 32nd worst cities in the nation for ozone pollution, according to the American Lung Association’s 2023 “State of the Air” report, which was released today.

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 Detroit 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 Ken Fletcher, Advocacy Director for the 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.”

Ground-level Ozone Pollution in Detroit
Compared to the 2022 report, Detroit experienced fewer unhealthy days of high ozone in this year’s report. “State of the Air” ranked Detroit as the 32nd most polluted city for ozone pollution, which is better compared to its ranking of 24th in last year’s report. Wayne County received an “F” grade for ozone pollution.

Particle Pollution in Detroit
The report also tracked short-term spikes in particle pollution, which can be extremely dangerous and even deadly. Detroit’s short-term particle pollution got worse in this year’s report, which means there were more unhealthy days. The area is ranked 35th worst for short-term particle pollution. Wayne Country received an “F” grade for short-term particle pollution.

The 2023 “State of the Air” found that year-round particle pollution levels in Detroit were slightly worsened than in last year’s report. The area was ranked 12th most polluted for year-round particle pollution, worse than the ranking of 12 last year.

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

Media Resources
For more information, contact:

James A. Martinez
(312) 445-2501
[email protected]

Asthma Basics Workshop - National
, | May 07, 2024
Asthma Basics Workshop - National
, | May 15, 2024