Parish air gets “F” from lung association
St. Charles Parish received an “F” from the American Lung Association for the amount of ozone, or smog, in the air.
Most of the New Orleans area received failing grades in the ALA’s annual survey called “State of the Air.” The report focuses on both smog, and particle pollution. The parish’s grade for particle pollution isn’t yet available.
The lung association has monitors located throughout the country to collect the data used for the survey. The grades for 2010 were assigned using data collected between 2006 and 2008.
Ground-level ozone, a principal component of smog, has been the most difficult air pollution problem in the United States. Ground-level ozone is created when pollutants from vehicles, planes and heavy-industry facilities, such as refineries and power plants, react with the sunlight.
Ozone can cause coughing and wheezing, along with asthma attacks, the lung association said.
Most citizens won’t be affected by the amount of smog in the air, but those with lung diseases, or small children, could be.
The ALA said that St. Charles Parish has many residents who are affected by the smog, including 1,270 children with asthma, 3,052 adults with asthma, 1,665 with chronic bronchitis and 604 with emphysema.
According to the American Lung Association, ozone and soot pollution have a direct affect on life expectancy for those with lung diseases.
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