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Smog Levels in NJ Are Awful: Report [AUDIO]

A new American Lung Association report reveals that the air in New Jersey is cleaner when it comes to particle or soot pollution, but the Garden State has some of the worst ozone pollution in the nation.

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Air Pollution
John Foxx, Getty Images

“The Association’s State of the Air 2014 report finds in all the New Jersey counties where ozone smog is measured, every county got an F for smog, except there was one county that got a D,” said Kevin Stewart, director of environmental health for the American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic.

He said having elevated levels of ozone, which comes from automobile exhaust, in the air is not a good thing.

“Ozone is something that is a powerful respiratory irritant, and even at relatively low levels can affect even healthy people’s ability to breathe,” Stewart said. “That kind of air pollution is something that will be especially harmful for people who have pre-existing lung disease, like asthma, chronic bronchitis and COPD.”

Stewart said breathing in ozone makes it harder for people “to get the air into their lungs and out of their lungs — take the breath that they need. Sometimes individuals will actually need to be sent to a doctor, get medication, or even be sent to the emergency room.”

He said the fact that New Jersey is between New York City and Philadelphia does add to the ozone problem, but most of the pollution is created in-state.

The State of the Air study has been conducted every year since 2000.

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