This year's State of the Air is not exactly a breath of fresh air for South Florida. The American Lung Association has released its Cleanest Cities List, detailing the state of the air in the country.
The American Lung Association's Ashley Lyerly says extreme heat and more wildfires lead to increased particle pollution and ozone levels. They can make asthma worse and damage respiratory and cardiovascular systems, even increase lung cancer rates.
The report also found six cities in Florida, including Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, had more unhealthy days of high ozone last year than the year before. Miami, Tampa, St. Pete and Orlando also had slightly higher levels of year-round particle pollution. Both Miami-Dade and Broward Counties earn "C" grades for high ozone days and "B" and "As" for high particle pollution days.
The report notes climate change and proposed amendments to federal policy threaten overall improvements in air quality. Palm Bay, Melbourne and Titusville made the list of cleanest cities for all three categories, which include ozone levels, short term particle pollution days and year-round particle pollution days.
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