Maui News

Particle Pollution Study: Maui Air Among Best

April 24, 2019, 10:45 AM HST
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Scenic Maui, File photo by Wendy Osher.

Honolulu was ranked among the nation’s cleanest cities in the American Lung Association’s 2019 “State of the Air” report. It was one of only six cities that qualified for the status.

To rank as one of the nation’s cleanest cities, a city must experience no high ozone or high particle pollution days and must rank among the 25 cities with the lowest year-round particle pollution levels during 2015-2017.

Others included on the list were: Bangor, Maine; Burlington-South Burlington, Vermont; Lincoln-Beatrice, Nebraska; Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida; and Wilmington, North Carolina.

Honolulu was the only county in the state where monitors were in place to collect all data for the survey. On Maui, there are no monitors in place for Ozone, but particle pollution levels were monitored with Maui earning a “B” for particle pollution over a 24 hour period, and a “Pass” for annual particle pollution.

Meantime, the cities of Wailuku, Kahului and Lahaina on Maui were lumped into one location which were in a three way tie (with Honolulu and Cheyenne, WY) for first on a list of the top 25 Cleanest US Cities for Year-round Particle Pollution. The areas of Wailuku, Kahului and Lahaina had just a -0.6 µg/m3 change in Particle Pollution since 2000.

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The American Lung Association’s 2019 “State of the Air” report finds that an increasing number of Americans—more than 4 in 10—lived with unhealthy air quality, placing their health and lives at risk. The 20th annual air quality “report card” also found that 141.1 million people lived in counties with unhealthful levels of either ozone or particle pollution.  That’s an increase of more than 7.2 million Americans since the last annual report.

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“The 20th annual ‘State of the Air’ report shows clear evidence of a disturbing trend in our air quality after years of making progress: In many areas of the United States, the air quality is worsening, at least in part because of wildfires and weather patterns fueled by climate change,” said American Lung Association President and CEO Harold Wimmer in a press release.

“This increase in unhealthy air is eye-opening, and points to the reality that the nation must do more to protect the public from serious, even life-threatening harm. There is no clearer sign that we are facing new challenges than air pollution levels that have broken records tracked for the past twenty years, and the fact that we had more days than ever before when monitored air quality reached hazardous levels for anyone to breathe.”

The American Lung Association’s 2019 “State of the Air” report included the following findings:

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Top 10 US Cities Most Polluted by Short-Term Particle Pollution (over a 24-hour period) were: (1) Bakersfield, California; (2) Fresno-Madera-Hanford, California; and (3) Fairbanks, Alaska.

Top 10 US Cities Most Polluted by Year-Round Particle Pollution were: (1) Fresno-Madera-Hanford, California; (2) Bakersfield, California; and (3) Fairbanks, Alaska.

Top 10 Most Ozone-Polluted Cities were: (1) Los Angeles-Long Beach, California; (2) Visalia, California
Bakersfield, California; and (3) Fresno-Madera-Hanford, California.

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