The American Lung Association is out with a new State of the Air report today ranking air quality for metro areas across the county. Generally, Oklahoma fares well in comparison, but both Oklahoma and Tulsa received an “F” for the number of ozone days from 2008 to 2010.
Ozone alerts peak in the summer in Oklahoma. That’s when the nitrous oxide and volatile organic compound emissions from power plants and vehicles combine with heat and the sun to create ozone. High ozone levels can make it harder to breathe for people already susceptible to asthma or other lung diseases. Air quality organizations say ozone can be curtailed by not filling up vehicles and not mowing yards during ozone alert days.
The latest State of the Air report showed some improvements in Oklahoma. A previous report, ranking counties from 2005 to 2007, gave an “F” to nine Oklahoma counties. Tulsa and Oklahoma counties were on that list, too.
The American Lung Association takes a tougher stance on ozone than the Environmental Protection Agency. In the latest EPA report, Tulsa avoided federal sanctions for ozone. Tulsa had 25 ozone alert days in 2011.