Pollution rank rises in Augusta

  • Follow Metro

Augusta was moved Thursday into the American Lung Association's annual list of the nation's 25 most polluted cities based on fine particle pollution, also known as soot.

"Last year, Augusta was 35th, and it ranked 21st this year," said June Deen, public affairs vice president for the association's Georgia and South Carolina affiliates.

Fine particulate, which causes or contributes to a host of respiratory ailments, is caused by combustion and other processes.

"It's often called a 'mixture of mixtures' and can contain ash, soot, sulfates and nitrates from aerosol and other things," she said.

Because of its health effects, fine particle pollution is measured by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its Georgia counterpart, the Environmental Protection Division. The association uses those measurements to calculate America's most polluted cities.

"It is perhaps the most dangerous type of air pollution because the particles are so tiny -- a seventh as wide as a human hair -- and can go deep into the lungs and move through the bloodstream, just like oxygen, which means it can travel to other parts of the body."

Macon, Columbus, Atlanta and Rome also made the list this year, she said. In addition to soot, EPA's air quality rules regulate ozone, or "smog," which can cause cities to flunk compliance with the U.S. Clean Air Act.

Augusta, which is heavily industrialized, was considered for listing as noncompliant with the Clean Air Act, but improving air quality in 2005 and 2006 helped the city escape the designation for now.

Augusta-Richmond County already has created an "early action compact," in which steps to reduce air pollution are being taken to prevent the city from failing standards.

For local and state-by-state details included in the American Lung Association State of the Air 2008 report and to learn how you can protect yourself and your family from air pollution, go to www.lungusa.org.

The eight metropolitan areas considered to be the nation's most polluted by every measure were Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Fresno, Visalia-Porterfield and Hanford-Corcoran, all in California; Washington-Baltimore; St. Louis; and Birmingham, Ala.

The cleanest cities were Fargo, N.D., and Salinas, Calif.

Reach Rob Pavey at 868-1222, ext. 119, or rob.pavey@augustachronicle.com.

DIRTIEST CITIES


1. Pittsburgh


2. Los Angeles


3. Fresno, Calif.


4. Bakersfield, Calif.


5. Birmingham, Ala.




CLEANEST CITIES


1. Cheyenne, Wyo.


2. Santa Fe, N.M.


3. Honolulu


4. Great Falls, Mont.


5. Farmington, Colo.

Source: stateoftheair.org


ATLANTA SMOG


Today marks the start of smog season in metro Atlanta.


The American Lung Association ranks the region the 12th smoggiest metro area in the nation. That's up from 25th last year.


Most of metro Atlanta's smog-forming pollution comes from vehicles.


Clean Air Campaign spokesman Brian Carr says many people are unaware that their daily driving is bad for the environment.


-- Associated Press

Comments (14) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
iletuknow
8
Points
iletuknow 05/02/08 - 05:52 am
0
0
Where is the Olin chemical

Where is the Olin chemical spokesperson telling us about how much has been done?

christian134
1
Points
christian134 05/02/08 - 06:22 am
0
0
What a step up in life....

What a step up in life.... Way to go Augusta.....

skip2malew
0
Points
skip2malew 05/02/08 - 07:06 am
0
0
why do they allow burning

why do they allow burning around here?? it is so disguting! the few weeks you can actually have your windows open we usually have to shut them or choke to death! we live in the merrymont area and we are sick of it. shouldn't this have been done away with years ago??

DuhJudge
206
Points
DuhJudge 05/02/08 - 08:33 am
0
0
Skip, you are right. The

Skip, you are right. The BIGGEST contribution to soot in Augusta is when the GOVERNMENT sets those monster fires out at Fort Gordon. If you were to look at the numbers of people being treated for lung iritation in hospitals, I guarantee there is a bump after those fires. As far as OLIN, they don't produce particulate in their production process, it is a closed system.

cricketflea
3
Points
cricketflea 05/02/08 - 08:51 am
0
0
No wonder you can't breathe

No wonder you can't breathe around this place----and we want to blame it on pollen...yeah, right!

hobo
0
Points
hobo 05/02/08 - 09:43 am
0
0
another improvement for

another improvement for disgusta georgia

Captain Awesome
0
Points
Captain Awesome 05/02/08 - 11:12 am
0
0
D- :-( Augusta, you can

D-

:-(

Augusta, you can do better than this. See me after class.

skip2malew
0
Points
skip2malew 05/02/08 - 12:34 pm
0
0
I wasn't even thinking of the

I wasn't even thinking of the "controlled" burns. i was talking about neighbors who burn all the time! people do it even when it is windy. which can be a little scary when you are watching ashes float over to your home! idiots

FedupwithAUG
0
Points
FedupwithAUG 05/02/08 - 01:25 pm
0
0
DuhJudge You are way off it

DuhJudge You are way off it is by no means a closed system. When you are dealing with 10 tons of mercury some of it ends up in the canal leading to the river. But most of the danger is what evaporates into the air. Olin has lost hundreds of pounds of murcury while in operation. You should read http://www.savannahriverkeeper.org/mercury.shtml and educate yourself.

HillGuy
7
Points
HillGuy 05/02/08 - 01:53 pm
0
0
And we wonder why Augusta has

And we wonder why Augusta has the pejorative nickname of Disgusta.

CSRAresident
1
Points
CSRAresident 05/02/08 - 09:29 pm
0
0
These dang dump trucks can be

These dang dump trucks can be a cause of some the soot. You can't even drive behind some of the starret and davis trucks.

DuhJudge
206
Points
DuhJudge 05/02/08 - 10:33 pm
0
0
Fedup, do you know what

Fedup, do you know what happens to mercury at room temperature? It evaporates. Not one ounce of mercury is being released into the canal. However, when you throw a flourescent tube into the trash, you just released mercury into the air because that bead of mercury is going to evaporate. Now, consider how many flourescent bulbs are replaced each and every year. OLIN is a very clean plant, making products that are used by our other great industries right here in Augusta. Riverkeepers has an agenda for their prose.

FedupwithAUG
0
Points
FedupwithAUG 05/03/08 - 01:34 pm
0
0
laff "Not one ounce of

laff "Not one ounce of mercury is being released into the canal." More like pounds and pounds.

FallingLeaves
27
Points
FallingLeaves 05/03/08 - 07:57 pm
0
0
They suggest we go out and

They suggest we go out and walk or run instead of driving every errand. Hmmmm, before or after they clean up the air? Do I want to be gasping for oxygen when I go out for a power walk because of the poor air quality? The pollen is already making me feel like I'm breathing chalk, now I get to add soot to the air pollutant soup. Then a neighbor started burning a pile of leaves. It's a wonder there's any oxygen left in the air at all. I've only been able to walk indoors most of the year. I realize there are indoor pollutants, too, but at least they are not so obvious.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs