by David Corrigan
HILO, Hawaii – Hawaii Island has received a failing grade for air quality in a new report by the American Lung Association.
Hawaii County got a “F” for its particle pollution in a 24 hour period as well as an annual basis.
The Big Island is home to constant vog – Kilauea’s volcanic smog that can blanket vast areas of the island, depending on how the winds blow.
According to the “2013 State of the Air” report, the island had 30 orange particle days – which is unhealthy for sensitive populations, and five red particle days – which is unhealthy for everybody.
Hawaii County placed sixth on a nationwide list of counties “Most Polluted by Year-round Particle Pollution”
8 of the top 10 counties on that list are in California.
Particle pollution can increase the risk of heart disease, lung cancer and asthma attacks and can interfere with the growth and work of the lungs, says the American Lung Association.
The American Lung Association’s annual “State of the Air” report finds that air quality nationwide continues the long-term trend to much healthier air. The strongest progress came in lower levels of year-round particle pollution across much of the nation.
Overall, the numbers ad up to some startling nationwide statistics:
More than 131 million people (or 42 percent of the U.S. population) live in counties that have unhealthy levels of either ozone or particle pollution.
Four cities made all three of the cleanest cities lists, the highest number ever to land on all three lists.
One city has cut one-third of its unhealthy ozone days since first State of the Air report came out in 2000.
Eighteen cities had lower year-round levels of particle pollution, including 16 cities with their lowest levels recorded.