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Ohio ranks among worst in nation for negative health effects of air quality

Published: Aug. 10, 2016 at 4:38 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 11, 2016 at 9:25 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Ohio earned another dubious honor today, ranking fourth in the nation for states with the highest level of health issues related to air pollution in a study released Wednesday. Air pollution's harmful health effects include respiratory issues, lung cancer and even brain damage.

The study, published Wednesday by the American Thoracic Society (ATS), looked at how air pollution concentrations above the ATS-recommended standards affected mortality, illnesses and "adverse impact days," including missing work, missing school or restricted activity days.

The study showed that, while California is responsible for 37 percent of the total estimated negative health impact of air pollution, Pennsylvania, Texas and Ohio together made up another 20 percent.

While Ohio as a whole did not fare well, Cuyahoga County fared even worse, with nearly 200 additional annual deaths, over 400 annual health issues and nearly 200,000 annual impacted days.

The goal of the study was to show the improvement in health that could occur if states began more closely sticking to the ATS recommendations for certain chemicals in the air. Cleveland ranked number nine on a list of cities nationwide that could see the greatest health improvement under these standards.

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