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Annual study finds that Phoenix’s air quality is deteriorating

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — Metro Phoenix’s air quality greatly deteriorated over the past year, according to a new study.

Arizona’s capital city ranks seventh for dirtiest air among American cities when it comes to ozone, according to the American Lung Association’s annual State of the Air report for 2018, which was released Tuesday.

“We were ranked eighth last year, so we did have more days where the air quality was bad,” said JoAnna Strother, director of advocacy for the American Lung Association of Arizona.

From 2017 to 2018, Phoenix moved from 20th to 13th nationwide for 24-hour particle pollution and from 50th to 32nd for year-round particle pollution.

Strother said some of the blame goes to extra smoke and particles from last summer’s California wildfires that lingered in Phoenix’s heat.

“We have sunshine most of the year,” she said. “It gives us the perfect recipe to cook up ozone. That’s why we’re seeing some of those high levels.”

More car emissions are also culprits.

“If everybody just committed to maybe commuting one day less, or using another form of transportation, that all adds and helps us to clean up our air,” she said.

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