The American Lung Association has ranked the Cleveland-Akron-Canton metropolitan area the 11th most polluted in the United States for year-round particle pollution in its 2016 "State of the Air" report.
Unhealthy levels of both particle pollution and ozone in the Cleveland-Akron-Canton area are putting local citizens at risk for premature death and other serious health effects such as asthma attacks and cardiovascular harm, according to Ohio American Lung Association spokesperson Shelly Kiser.
"Particle pollution is made of soot or tiny particles that come from coal-fired power plants, diesel emissions, wildfires and wood-burning devices. These particles are so small that they can lodge deep in the lungs and trigger asthma attacks, heart attacks and strokes, and can even be lethal," Kiser said.
Despite the metropolitan area's 11th worst ranking in the April 20, 2016 report, these are its best levels ever recorded and it has seen a gradual decrease in year-round particle pollution compared to the 2015 "State of the Air" report, according to Ohio's American Lung Association.
Cleveland-Akron-Canton also received the following rankings from the lung association:
- 27 most polluted for high ozone days out of 197 metropolitan areas
- 34 most polluted for 24-hour particle pollution out of 94 metropolitan areas