"If you live in Chester County, the air you breathe may put your health at risk."
That's the conclusion the American Lung Association reached in its annual State of the Air report. The annual air quality report lists the segments of the population most affected by poor air quality, including 124,055 children and 126,487 people with cardiovascular disease in a county of half a million.
Chester County scored an F in "ozone" and "particle pollution 24-hour," but earned a pass in the "particle pollution annual" field.
The site describes ozone as an invisible, widespread pollutant that inflames tissue and, according to an embedded video, causes something akin to "a bad sunburn of your lungs." Chester County had five high-ozone days per year during the three-year period of study—much improved over previous years but not low enough for a passing grade, which looks on the graph to be four or less.
Particle pollution measures harmful, tiny solids and liquids in the air, including the ones that come from car exhaust. Chester County is in the red zone—meaning unhealthy—with four high pollution days per year.
For information on the methodology of the report, click here.