Local News

Report: State's Air Getting Cleaner

Posted April 30, 2007 11:58 a.m. EDT

— The air we breathe is getting better, according to the American Lung Association.

In its annual State of the Air report card, the group said North Carolina saw a major improvement in smog, but there’s more particle pollution in the air. While the state did receive some good news, an American Lung Association spokeswoman said more can be done.

"Our improved ozone grades are certainly good news, but the increase in particle pollution is a particularly troubling trend," Susan King Cope, vice president of programs and advocacy, said in a statement. "North Carolina still has a long way to go to have air that is safe for everyone to breathe. Science clearly shows that air pollution is dangerous -- even deadly -- at levels we once thought were safe. To really protect North Carolinians from air pollution, we need the EPA to set more protective air quality standards so all of us can have truly clean air."

For the first time ever, the report also found distinct differences in the air on either side of the Mississippi River. Particle pollution from things like soot increased in the East but went down west of the Mississippi.