Despite the progress, Dallas-Fort Worth was rated 21st / 228 metropolitan area on a list of the most polluted cities in the United States.
As per the American Lung Association’s 2020 State of the Air report, Dallas-Fort Worth had its least polluted month on record for O3 pollution, but there’s still space for improvement.
Data on air pollution from 2016 to 2018 is included in the paper. In comparison to previous year’s report, Dallas-Fort Worth saw fewer days with dangerous level of ozone pollution over that time period, making it the great ozone report in the area’s history.
Despite the improvements, Dallas-Fort Worth was ranked 21st out of 228 metro areas on a list of the most polluted cities in the United States. On their ozone pollution report card, the American Lung Association graded the area a “F.”
Houston is the highest-ranking Texas town for ozone pollution, coming in at 14th, and El Paso ranked 17th.
“Ozone pollution can hurt even healthy people, but it is especially dangerous for children, the elderly, and people with lung disorders like COPD or asthma,” said Charlie Gagen, the American Lung Association’s Texas advocacy director, in a written statement. “Inhaling ozone-polluted air can cause asthma episodes in children and adults with asthma, resulting in visits to the doctor’s office & the emergency room.” “Ozone has the potential to shorten people’s lives.”
Ozone is an odorless gas that protect the Earth from the sun’s UV rays. It is found in the top layers of the atmosphere. When ozone reach ground level, it become the primary component of smog, which can be toxic to some people and cause respiratory problems.
Poor air quality could have similar effect on the lungs as smoking, according to Jessica Rangel, vice provost for academic development at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. This is especially true for persons with respiratory difficulties, children, and the elderly.
“Lung tissue is quite delicate,” Rangel explained. “When it comes to air quality, it affects us all.” This is a major source of concern.”
More people, more automobiles on the road, & more construction will wreak havoc on air quality in North Texas, according to Rangel.
Rangel believes that carpooling can help improve air quality. Staying at home on days when the air quality is poor is another way individuals can protect themselves, she said.
The Texas Department on Environmental Quality was not issued any ozone action days for Dallas-Fort Worth so far this month, when Air quality level could be dangerous for sensitive groups.
In the summer, as temperatures rise, North Texas often sees an higher in ozone activity days. On certain days, the TCEQ advises staying indoors as much as possible, carpooling, and cutting driving durations as much as feasible.
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The assessment scored Dallas-Fort Worth a “C” for particle pollution levels during a 24-hour period. The figures were comparable to those in the previous year’s report. On a list of most polluted U.S. cities, Dallas-Fort Worth was ranked 40th /217 metropolitan areas for 24hr particle pollution.
Particle pollution, or soot, can arise from a variety of source, include diesel emissions, coal-fired power plants, wildfires, and wood-burning devices.
According to Gagen, particle pollution can induce asthma attack, heart attacks, strokes, and even lung cancer since it can lodge in the lungs & enter the bloodstream.
“At the same time, this year’s study demonstrates the need of standing up for clean air, particularly to protect our most vulnerable local residents,” Gagen added. “Our officials, both here in Texas & at the federal level, should act quickly and decisively to combat climate change & other dangers to the quality of air we all breathe.”
Although there is no data for 2020 in the paper, recent NASA satellite photographs have showed decreased nitrogen dioxide levels over Dellas in recent weeks. As per the Environmental Protection Agency, nitrogen dioxide is a pollutant which contributes to smog.