Lung Association Report: Nashville’s Air Quality Improves; 1 in 3 Nationwide Exposed to Unhealthy Air

American Lung Association 2023 “State of the Air” report highlights air quality in Nashville and across the nation
Nashville’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 again improved and ranked 91st most polluted city for ozone in the nation, achieving its fewest ever number of unhealthy ozone days. A major improvement as it was tied for 66th most polluted last year.

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 Nashville 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 Shannon Baker, 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 Nashville
Compared to the 2022 report, Nashville experienced fewer unhealthy days of high ozone in this year’s report. Davidson County received a “B” grade for ozone pollution.

Particle Pollution in Nashville
The report also tracked short-term spikes in particle pollution, which can be extremely dangerous and even deadly. Nashville’s short-term particle pollution worsened in this year’s report, which means there were more unhealthy days. The area ranked 66th most polluted for short-term particle pollution, worse than the ranking of 81st last year. Davidson County received an “C” grade for short-term particle pollution.

The 2023 “State of the Air” found that year-round particle pollution levels in Nashville were slightly worse than in last year’s report. The area was ranked 63rd most polluted for year-round particle pollution, worse than the ranking of 56th 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]

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