Michiana is not making the grade according to the American Lung Association’s annual state of the air report.
Berrien, Cass, LaPorte and St. Joseph counties all received failing grades based on analysis of particle pollution in the ozone. Elkhart county was given a “C” grade. Fulton, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Marshall, Pulaski and Starke counties do not have ozone monitors for particle pollution.
The report gave either a “D” or “F” grade to 16 of the 29 Indiana counties that conduct air quality monitoring, including other populous counties such as Allen, Lake, Marion and Vanderburgh.
The report highlights the need for stronger public health protections as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is making moves to push for stricter clean air standards. The Indiana House Rules Committee, however, approved a non-binding resolution condemning the EPA’s stronger safeguards on Tuesday.
“Indiana families deserve better than failing air quality grades,” stated Dr. Steve Jay, professor emeritus of medicine and public health at the Indiana University School of Medicine. “As a practicing physician, many of my patients come from lower socioeconomic and medically underserved neighborhoods, and one of the most frequently prescribed medications in our office is an inhaler that asthmatics use to relieve shortness of breath. I know all too well the impact that dangerous pollutants like smog have on the lungs of our kids and parents throughout the community.”
Some recommendations from the American Lung Association on what the public can do to help clean up air pollution include driving less, using less electricity and refraining from burning wood or trash.
The report, along with specific information for counties that conduct air quality monitoring, can be found on the American Lung Association’s website.