Monroe County sees decrease in ozone pollution since 2016

[anvplayer video=”5104001″ station=”998131″]

ROCHESTER N.Y. (WHEC) — Monroe County has seen a decrease in ozone air pollution since 2016, found a study by the American Lung Association released on Thursday.

The report measured air pollution in cities and counties across America. In the ranking of metropolitan areas with the highest ozone levels, the combined cities of Rochester, Batavia, and Seneca falls ranked 84th out of 226. The greater Buffalo area and Syracuse area ranked lower, both tying for 117.

Ozone can worsen lung conditions like asthma, cause coughing, and damage airways over time. Monroe County had only one day where ozone levels exceeded EPA health standards between 2018 to 2020, which is the most recent data. Between 2001 to 2003, the county saw 18 high ozone days.

The American Lung Association also measured particulate matter air pollution, which can aggravate lung and heart medical conditions. With the new data, particulate matter pollution in Monroe County and in the City of Rochester has remained at zero since 2011.

The Buffalo area saw an increase in particulate matter pollution after being at zero since 2011 and the Syracuse area stayed at zero.

You can explore the American Lung Association’s new data and compare regions on their website.