© 2024 WSHU
NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Air quality in Fairfield and Suffolk counties is low, American Lung Association says

Smoke stacks.
Rick Bowmer
Smoke stacks.

Fairfield and Suffolk counties both received failing air quality grades from the American Lung Association.

The association released their annual “State of the Air'' report on Wednesday. According to the report, Fairfield County has the highest pollution levels in the New York metro area.

The report includes data from 2019 to 2021.

Despite poor air quality locally, national air quality improved. The association credited that to the federal Clean Air Act.

Trevor Summerfield from the association said that the lower national levels will have a positive effect on Connecticut and New York’s levels soon.

“We're hoping that the national trends impact them over the next couple of years,” Summerfield said.

120 million people in America have poor air quality. More than half of them are people of color.

Ruth Canovi from the association said the Connecticut Legislature needs to pass laws to protect those at-risk communities.

“Senate Bill 1147 in Connecticut would really allow us to have a strong commitment to environmental justice and make sure that we do all that we can to keep polluters out of communities that have disproportionately borne the burden of air pollution in the past,” Canovi said.

Summerfield and Canovi advised residents with respiratory issues to stay inside on poor air quality days.

“If we're expecting high ozone, we encourage people not to exercise outdoors,” Canovi said. “You can change some settings on your air conditioning to try to keep the air inside and not bring air in from outside just to keep the air quality healthier.”

See the full State of the Air results here.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.