Air Quality Report Rates Our Area High On Quality

May 1, 2019

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Breathe deeply Gainesville, and Ocala, the American Lung Association says the area is one of the top 25 cleanest air cities in America.  Gainesville and Lake City air tied for the number 1 spot for cleanest metropolitan areas in the country for particle pollution (soot), with Alachua and Columbia County receiving an A rating. Alachua and Marion county received a B rating for ozone (smog). Ratings were based on an A through F scale, with A as the best and F as the worst. Particulate pollution, or soot, is ultrafine particles that come from power plants, diesel emissions, wildfires and wood-burning devices. While ozone protects us from harmful UV radiation in the upper atmosphere, closer to the ground it traps greenhouse gases and creates smog, which is especially harmful for children, older adults and those with asthma and other lung diseases. As for the cleanest air in Florida, you'd have to travel to the east coast, where Palm Bay, Melbourne, and Titusville rank as the only cities with an A rating on the cleanest cities list for ozone, year-round particle pollution and short-term particle pollution. As for the dirtiest air, Tampa and Hillsborough County received a D rating in Florida for smog. Year-round particle pollution levels (soot) were slightly higher in Orlando, Lakeland, Deltona, Miami, Port St. Lucie, Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater compared to previous reports. The World Health Organization now considers air pollution to be the greatest environmental risk to human health, killing about 7 million people a year globally.

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SOURCE: American Lung Association

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