Despite Progress, Birmingham Region Still Lags in Air Quality
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Once again, the state of Alabama lags behind much of the nation in air quality, according to the just-released 2013 State of the Air report from the American Lung Association (ALA).
The Birmingham-Hoover-Cullman area failed two of the study’s three measures: high-ozone days and annual particle pollution. Strikingly, the area ranks 14th worst out of 277 metro regions in the number of high ozone days.
A news release from ALA notes that progress has been made, stating, “Jefferson County has cut year-round particle pollution (soot) levels since the 2012 report, in keeping with a trend seen across the nation.” Despite improvements, air quality is nowhere near where it should be for a healthy metropolitan region.
People with lung diseases, heart disease, and diabetes, as well as seniors, children, and those living in poverty are at increased risk of harmful health effects from breathing dirty air. In the Birmingham area there are 30,184 children and 73,803 adults living with asthma, putting them at risk for shortness of breath, chest pain, wheezing, coughing, asthma attacks and even death.
GASP is fighting for clean air throughout the state of Alabama, and especially in trouble zones such as Birmingham. GASP is currently giving away free six-month memberships in honor of Earth Week — visit our home page to learn more about this offer. Click here to sign up for news updates and find ways to take action in the fight for clean air.
Michael joined GASP in 2013 as communications specialist. He has lived in Birmingham since 2008, and is an active member of the Birmingham community. He’s a passionate advocate for health equity, civil rights and equality. He is currently serving as executive director. Email Michael