May 8, 2002
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Pollution blown north from
Chicago and Gary, Ind., is still contributing
to poor air quality in eastern and southern Wisconsin,
a new report says.
According to the report today from the American Lung
Association, 11 counties merit a grade of "
F" for air quality.
The failing grades went to Door, Jefferson,
Kenosha, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Milwaukee,
Ozaukee, Racine, Rock, Sheboygan and Walworth
Eight of those counties are at the eastern edge of
the state, on the shore of Lake Michigan, where
wind patterns push industrial pollution from the Chicago
area, said Jenny Rohde, association spokeswoman.
Those counties also add to the pollution as it travels
up the Lake Michigan coast, she said.
" It all ends up in areas like poor Door County,
because of weather patterns, " Rohde said.
The lung association used ozone monitors in select
counties to grade air quality based on the number of
days with ozone levels in unhealthy ranges. The report,
the association' s third, is for the years 1998
Ozone is a colorless, odorless gas formed when
certain pollutants such as tailpipe and power plant
emissions mix with heat and sunlight. Ozone' s health
effects are believed to be most dangerous to children
14 and younger, adults 65 and older and people with
asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema.
" Air quality doesn' t have any boundaries,
" Rohde said. " We need everybody to clean up
their air pollution so everyone can breathe easier."
Waukesha County received a " D" this year,
a slight improvement over last year' s failing grade.
Among the Wisconsin counties monitored, only St.
Croix County near the Twin Cities in the northwest received
an " A" for good air quality.
Dane County received a grade of " C" for the
third consecutive year.
Topf Wells, chief of staff to Dane County Executive
Kathleen Falk, said the county should provide more
reliable and convenient transportation alternatives,
so that the growing population will rely less on individual
vehicles that pollute the air with their emissions.
On the Internet:
American Lung Association: http://www.lungusa.org/