Maui Nationally Ranked for Clean Air
By Wendy Osher
Although the vog makes its way to Maui on occasion, and cane burning continues on the Valley Isle, Maui County has received an A grade for particle pollution.
That’s according to the American Lung Association’s “State of the Air 2013” report, which also ranked Honolulu as one of the cleanest cities in the nation for ozone pollution.
In the report, Honolulu received an A grade for ozone levels, experiencing no days of unhealthy levels; and a B for particle pollution.
Hawaiʻi County, meantime, received a failing grade for particle pollution despite an improvement from last year. Authorities say the county is unique because one of its main sources of particle pollution is vog, or volcanic smog.
“Residents should take extra care on days when vog levels are high—staying indoors, limiting outdoor exercise as much as possible, and drinking plenty of fluids can all help protect the public from vog,” said Dr. Steve Businger, a member of the American Lung Association in Hawaiʻi’s Leadership Council in a press release announcing the findings.
The 2013 report shows a “long-term trend toward healthier air” in both Honolulu and across the nation.
“The air in Honolulu is certainly cleaner than when we started the ‘State of the Air’ report 14 years ago,” said Lorraine Leslie, State Director of the American Lung Association in Hawaiʻi.