The air Michigan breathes is much more polluted than most people think.
(as appeared in The Macomb Daily)
The American Lung Association (ALA) is responsible for grading the air quality of counties and regions in the United States. Unfortunately, the ALA has graded the counties of South Eastern Michigan (Macomb, Oakland, Wayne) and we received a whopping ‘F’. It may be difficult to notice but Michigan, specifically in the south eastern region, has pitiful air quality and the unconventional heat of climate change is only emphasizing our air’s pollution.
So how does the air’s pollution affect us? When sunlight chemically interacts with common emissions like those of factories and cars, it adds to the level of smog (ground level ozone) in the air which irritates lungs and can be especially dangerous to people with cardiovascular issues or asthma.
Michigan has had surprisingly high air pollution ever since our government started recording information on air quality. One would think that our environment would improve as larger industries and contributors of pollution left our state, but Michigan has always struggled to reach a healthy air quality. The good news, however, is that we have improved since the last information was gathered in 2013.
We are finally making meaningful steps toward achieving fresh air. This is a combined effort of the government urging businesses to be more environmentally friendly, many companies and organizations opting to “go green” and even average citizens driving fuel efficient cars and adding simple habits like recycling to their lives.