Hillsborough County gets ‘F’ grade for air quality

Traffic, parking info for the Lightning game on Saturday (Image 1)

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A new report released by the American Lung Association warns Hillsborough County residents the air they breathe may put their health at risk.

The county received a failing grade on the association’s 2017 “State of the Air” report after researchers, who analyzed data from official air quality monitors, detected unhealthy levels of smog or ozone pollution in the area.

“In our analysis of ozone and short-term levels of particle pollution, we assign increasing weights to the days when air pollution levels reach the higher ranges to calculate our grades. We add those together and calculate the weighted average, then assign grades based on that weighted average. For year-round levels of particle pollution, we use annual average levels calculated by EPA,” said the American Lung Association on their website.

Inhaling pollutants, like dirt, dust, soot and other inhablable coarse particles can lead to severe asthma attacks, particularly in vulnerable children and people with diabetes. It can also cause lung cancer and put many at risk for heart disease and stroke.

The county passed the annual particle pollution test and received an “A” for particle polution levels over a 24-hour period.

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