State of the Air: Honolulu Air Quality Among Best in US

April 20, 2016, 7:46 AM HST · Updated April 20, 8:13 AM
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The rim of Kīlauea Volcano’s summit caldera, normally clear on trade-wind days (left), became nearly obscured by vog (right) on some non-trade wind days beginning in 2008, when sulfur dioxide emissions from the volcano’s summit increased to unusually high levels. USGS photos.

The rim of Kīlauea Volcano’s summit caldera, normally clear on trade-wind days (left), became nearly obscured by vog (right) on some non-trade wind days beginning in 2008, when sulfur dioxide emissions from the volcano’s summit increased to unusually high levels. File photos credit: USGS.

The American Lung Association’s 2016 “State of the Air” report found Honolulu as one of the cleanest cities in the US. According to the report, Honolulu had no days when ozone reached unhealthy levels.

The report also factored in outdoor air pollutants and particle pollution.

Elsewhere in the state, Kauaʻi received an “A” for short-term particle pollution and Maui received a “B.”

Meantime, on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi where air quality is affected by volcanic activity, the county received a “C” for short-term particle pollution and a failing grade for year-round particle pollution.

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The 2016 State of the Air report found year-round particle pollution (soot) levels in 2012-2014 higher than the 2015 report for Hawaiʻi County.

“Hawaiʻi’s air quality conditions are affected by our volcano”, said Kim Nguyen, Executive Director of the American Lung Association in Hawaiʻi. “Vog is an ongoing health issue for many of our residents and visitors.”

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