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American Lung Association says air pollution is down in West Virginia

By Logan Cottrell, The Exponent Telegram

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — The results of the 25th annual American Lung Association State of the Air Report are in, and it looks good for West Virginia.

“The American Lung Association’s 25th annual State of the Air Report shows healthy levels of pollution” in West Virginia, said Aimee Van Cleave, advocacy director for the American Lung Association. “The two levels we look at the most are ground-level ozone air pollution and overall particle pollution. We also look for short term spikes in particle pollution over a three year period.”

In many respects, West Virginia is looking much better, said Kevin Stewart, director of environmental health at the American Lung Association.

“For 12 years in a row West Virginia has gotten an A grade for ‘No Bad Air Days’ for ozone smog,” he said. “This also stands for getting no air pollution days in excess of the standard daily measure of particle pollution levels. There may be a few areas that will go over, but not that many.”

This originally started as a way to measure how much pollution is in the air, Van Cleave said.

“We know that thanks to things such as the Clean Air Act,” she said. “We’ve seen an incremental increase over time in the air quality that people in our country are breathing. That means we are breathing healthier fresher air than we were 25 years ago.”

The decrease in pollution can be traced back to many different factors, Stewart said.

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