Cincinnati named one of smoggiest cities in the country

Ranked 16th smoggiest

Cincinnati's air quality is not very good compared to the other U.S. cities, according to a new report.

The report by Environment Ohio says Cincinnati is the 16th smoggiest large metropolitan area in the country.

The report, Danger in the Air: Unhealthy Air Days in 2010 and 2011 , shows that in total, residents in the Tri-State area were exposed to air quality that made it dangerous to breathe on 14 days in 2010. Additionally, residents of the Tri-State were alerted to unhealthy air on 20 days in the summer of 2011, including one "red-alert" day where the quality was so poor that anyone could experience adverse health effects.

"Ohioans deserve clean air. But on far too many days, people in the Cincinnati area are exposed to dangerous smog pollution," said Dan Levine, federal associate with Environment Ohio. "For the sake of our children, we must make every day a safe day to breathe."

Children, the elderly, and people with respiratory illness suffer the most on days with elevated levels of smog pollution.

9 News spoke to Evelyn Owhor, who is living with asthma. She says Cincinnati's rank on the list is alarming.

"My asthma is linked to my allergies as well, so if anything triggers my allergies such as the atmosphere, air, smoking, pollen, any of those things, my asthma is able to be triggered and I can have a asthma attack," Owhor explained. "Whether I lose my breath as I'm walking, or have trouble breathing, all of those things can definitely affect me as well as my ability to do my job and to be an individual."

Smog is one of the most harmful air pollutants, and is also one of the most pervasive, according to Environment Ohio. Smog forms when pollution from cars, power plants and industrial facilities reacts with other pollutants in the presence of sunlight.

Cincinnati City Councilmember Wendell Young and Bill Lonneman, M.S.N, family nurse practitioner and assistant professor of nursing at College of Mount St. Joseph joined Environment Ohio in releasing Wednesday's report outside of City Hall.

"Every day, smog threatens the health and wellbeing of our children and our adults," said Young. "As a representative of Cincinnati and its residents, I cannot idly allow this to happen. We must look to our future and we absolutely must fight to protect and maintain our clean air safeguards."

Lonneman reported seeing the health consequences of air pollution.

"Cincinnati has some of the most polluted air in the country," said Lonneman. "As a nurse, I know that the people who visit the city's health clinics consistently report asthma as one of their top problems."

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