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Particle Air Pollution Down, But Smog Is Up In San Antonio

Flickr user Steven Perez (silas216)

The American Lung Association’s State of the Air 2013 Report released Wednesday finds Bexar County has joined a nationwide trend of improved overall air quality.

However, San Antonio has an ongoing problem with ozone.

Susanna Fuchs, senior director of environmental health for the American Lung Association Plains-Gulf Region, said the general trend is toward less pollution across cities in the U.S.

She said the report outlines good news and bad news for San Antonio:

"When we look at particle pollution, which is soot, some of it so fine that you can’t see it with the naked eye, San Antonio has cut it since last year, so that’s good. When we look at ozone pollution which we commonly call ‘smog,’ we’re not doing so great on that. The grade on ozone pollution isn’t wonderful in the San Antonio area, and it’s worse than last year, but that’s also a trend we’re seeing," Fuchs said.

Fuchs said pollution is reduced mainly by personal decisions to spend less time operating gas-powered vehicles. She also said some other cities that did worse on the report have more industrial sites that contribute to particle pollution.

This is the 14th year for the Lung Association report that measures air pollution particles and ozone pollution.