The Turlock area has some of the worst air in the nation, according to the American Lung Association’s annual State of the Air report.
Findings show that the Modesto-Merced area ranks in the top 10 for all three pollution lists. For the list of most polluted cities by ozone, Modesto-Merced ranks seventh. For most polluted cities by year-round particle pollution, Modesto-Merced ranks fifth, and for the most polluted cities by short-term particle pollution, Modesto-Merced ranks fifth.
According to stateoftheair.org, data on air quality throughout the United States was obtained from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Air Quality System, formerly called Aerometric Information Retrieval System database.
The American Lung Association then contracted Dr. Allen S. Lefohn, A.S.L. & Associates, to calculate hourly average ozone concentration information and the 24-hour average PM2.5 concentration information for the 3-year period for 2010 to 2012 for each monitoring site.
The American Lung Association publishes the list in order to raise awareness of air pollution, to provide statistics for those most at risk in polluted environments, and to work to influence public policy to ensure enforcement of laws to clean air.
“Our primary weapon is advocacy. We work to influence public policy and ensure enforcement of laws that help us clean up our air,” the Association writes on its site. “Whether in the courtroom or on Capitol Hill, we constantly work to make the air we all share cleaner and healthier.”
On a separate site, fightingforair.org, the American Lung Association describes how citizens can take action to “join the fight for healthy air.”
A few of the steps the association lists include: cleaning up carbon pollution, creating less wood smoke, setting power plant carbon pollution standards, and telling lawmaker to protect the Clean Air Act.