(WHBC) – Stark County once again has received a failing grade for levels of ozone pollution.

“We gave Stark County an F because they still had too many days of high, elevated ozone,” said Ken Fletcher with the American Lung Association.

He says the American Lung Association’s 2019 “State of the Air” report found that Stark County had 14 days where ozone levels were unhealthy for sensitive groups.

The report includes data from 2015, 2016 and 2017.

“Having 14 days where the ozone levels were elevated means a lot of people were at risk, it could trigger asthma attacks that send people to the emergency room so we need to continue to make improvements on cleaning up that ozone,” Fletcher said.

Stark County received a B for levels of particle pollution.

The grades are unchanged from the association’s previous report.

He says, while great improvements have been made in air quality in Ohio and across the country as a result of various policies such as the Clean Air Act, their latest report shows evidence of a disturbing trend of worsening air quality in parts of the country.

“In many areas of the United States, the air quality is worsening, at least in part because of wildfires and weather patterns fueled by climate change,” said American Lung Association President and CEO Harold Wimmer.

The American Lung Association’s 2019 “State of the Air” report finds that an increasing number of Americans — more than 4 in 10 — lived with unhealthy air quality, placing their health and lives at risk.

To minimize your exposure to ozone and particle pollution:

– Pay attention to forecasts for high air pollution days to know when to take

-Avoid exercising near high-traffic areas

-Avoid exercising outdoors when pollution levels are high, or substitute an activity
that requires less exertion

-Do not let anyone smoke indoors and support measures to make all places

– Reduce the use of fireplaces and wood-burning stoves.