Thursday, May 25, 2000

Butler ozone highest

Lung Assn. reports area air pollution

By Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        It's easier to breathe in Butler County despite a new report that ranks the area as the state's worst when it comes to air quality.

  Here are the number of days in which area counties had ozone readings above .085 parts per million. The American Lung Association says this eight-hour ozone level is “unhealthy for sensitive groups.”
  • Butler County: 43 days.
  • Warren County: 31 days.
  • Hamilton County: 27 days.
  • Clermont County: 23 days.
  • Kenton County: 16 days.
  • Campbell County: 15 days.
  • Boone County: 7 days.
        “We have made improvement over the years, but we shouldn't rest on our laurels. We need to continue to strive to improve,” said Mary Moore, utilities and environmental administrator for the city of Hamilton.

        The American Lung Association “report card,” presented Wednesday during a meeting of the Ozone Coali tion of the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments, also gave failing air-quality grades to Clermont, Hamilton and Warren counties, and Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties in Kentucky.

        “State of the Air: 2000” measured eight-hour ozone concentrations between 1996 and 1998. It assigned cities and counties grades ranging from A through F based on how often their air quality exceeded the unhealthy category of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Air Quality Index.

        Butler County had 43 days of ozone readings of more than .085 parts per million. The American Lung Association says this eight-hour ozone level is unhealthy for sensitive groups, which include children, active adults and people with respiratory disease such as asthma. These groups should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.


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