Lucas County air quality gets passing grade in American Lung Association report

Toledo's air quality actually improved compared to other cities in Ohio.
Toledo's air quality actually improved compared to other cities in Ohio.

Lucas County a just passing grade in this year's air quality report released today by The American Lung Association.

The association gave the county a grade of D for ozone pollution and a C for 24-hour particle pollution. The county was also given a ranking of 'pass' for annual particle pollution.

According to the study, “the Toledo-Fremont area ranked tied for 80th most polluted in the nation during the most recent reporting time period.” Last year, the area was ranked 83rd.

Shelly Kiser, director of advocacy for The American Lung Association in Ohio, said the air in Toledo is better than it has been in the past.

“The air has definitely gotten cleaner, though we've made a little step back in some areas in the state,” she said.

Ms. Kiser said Toledo maintained its D ranking for ozone pollution this year.

“Toledo has actually done pretty good this year, compared to some of the cities in Ohio. A lot of the cities saw their ozone levels increase. Toledo did not, which is amazing, because most cities saw that,” she said.

An increase in ozone levels can likely be attributed to hotter temperatures. Coal-fired power plants that are cleaning up emissions and the development of more environmentally friendly diesel trucks have also aided in lessening pollutants, Ms. Kiser said.

The Clean Air Act, which requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate air pollutants, has also positively affected the rankings, she said.

Surrounding counties also did not have higher grade ratings, with the exception of one, and a few were not able to be collected. Wood County received a rating of B for ozone pollution; both Hamilton and Cuyahoga counties were both given F ratings for ozone pollution. Data was not able to be collected in Fulton or Ottawa counties, because neither county has a monitor installed.

The American Lung Association has distributed its State of the Air report for 14 years, using air pollution data compiled by the EPA.