The American Lung Association has released its air quality report, and New Jersey doesn’t fare too well, with eight counties earning a grade of “F”; the two major metropolitan areas were among the worst in the nation. Both the New York-Newark metro area and the Philadelphia-Reading-Camden area ranked in the bottom 25 for ozone smog. As reported by Patch.com, here are the grades given by the ALA for each of New Jersey’s counties (six counties had no data collected: Burlington, Cape May, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, and Union):

  • Atlantic: B
  • Bergen: F
  • Burlington: N/A
  • Camden: F
  • Cape May: N/A
  • Cumberland: C
  • Essex: C
  • Gloucester: F
  • Hudson: F
  • Hunterdon: F
  • Mercer: F
  • Middlesex: F
  • Monmouth: B
  • Morris: D
  • Ocean: F
  • Passaic: C
  • Salem: N/A
  • Somerset: N/A
  • Sussex: N/A
  • Union: N/A
  • Warren: B

The ozone smog category is just one of the metrics that the ALA uses; they also measure particle pollution and the Garden State does just fine in that category. Most of New Jersey’s counties got A’s or B’s in that category, with the lone exception being Camden County’s C. According to the American Lung Association:

"There are still dozens of days when the air pollution levels are high enough to harm health and trigger asthma attacks, heart attacks and stroke, placing children, older adults, and people living with chronic lung and heart disease at particular risk. Ozone and particle pollution are the nation's most harmful and widespread air pollutants, and both can be deadly. In addition, more exposure to particle pollution is linked to worse health outcomes from COVID-19, including more deaths."

The ALA’s “State of the Air” report says that 4 in 10 Americans breathe unhealthy air.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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