Air pollution is a major environmental concern in Washington state, with several cities consistently ranking among the most polluted in the nation. In particular, Yakima have garnered attention for their poor air quality, earning them a spot on the American Lung Association’s list of “most polluted cities” for particle pollution and ozone pollution, respectively.
According to the 2023 “State of the Air” report by the American Lung Association, Yakima, Washington, was ranked as one of the most polluted cities in the entire country for short-term particle pollution. The city received an “F” grade for its air quality, indicating that it had a high number of days with unhealthy levels of particle pollution.
Particle pollution, also known as PM2.5, is a type of air pollution that is made up of tiny particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs. These particles can cause a variety of health problems, including asthma attacks, heart attacks, strokes, and lung cancer.
Yakima’s poor air quality is due in part to its location in the Yakima Valley, which is a bowl-shaped valley that traps pollution. The valley is also home to a number of agricultural operations, which can contribute to air pollution.
The American Lung Association’s report also found that Spokane, Washington, was ranked as one of the most polluted cities in the country for ozone pollution. Ozone is a type of air pollution that is formed when sunlight reacts with pollutants from cars, factories, and other sources. Ozone can cause a variety of health problems, including respiratory problems, heart attacks, and premature death.
Spokane’s poor air quality is due in part to its location in a valley, which traps pollution. The city is also home to a number of industrial facilities, which can contribute to air pollution.
The American Lung Association’s report is a reminder that air pollution is a serious problem in Washington state. The report also highlights the need for continued efforts to reduce air pollution and protect public health.