Report shows improved air quality in West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Although there are still improvements to be made, the American Lung Association noted improvements in West Virginia’s environmental air quality in their 22nd State of the Air Report.

“The Charleston-Huntington-Ashland Metro area, the area graded, received a ‘B’ grade for best ever result for ozone smog. Year-round particle pollution was also at its best level, which is good news,” said Molly Pisciottano, Advocacy Director fo Pennsylvania and West Virginia for the American Lung Association.

The Charleston-Huntington-Ashland metro area encompassed 16 counties. Other parts of West Virginia were included in various other metro areas. Overall the air quality in the state was much improved on the whole. However, Pisciottano noted there was still room for improvement since certain days of high concentration constituted a health threat, particularly to those with breathing problems.

“Spikes in particle pollution and ozone pollution can still be dangerous, especially for children or adults living with lung disease like asthma, COPD, and lung cancer,” she explained.

There were some spikes in particle concentration and ozone pollution on hot days through the year identified in the report.

The report concentrated on environmental air quality and largely relied on monitoring by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. According to Pisciottano areas not rated may have had inoperable monitoring equipment or no monitoring equipment at all. The report blamed problems associated with poor air quality on fossil fuels, industrial activity, and automobile emissions in most cases.

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