‘State of the Air’ in Tippecanoe County

TIPPECANOE CO., Ind. (WLFI) – Using public transportation like City Bus, is one way Tippecanoe County could improve its air quality.

While the air may seem clear, a recent report by the American Lung Association gives Tippecanoe County a “C” grade when it comes to the amount of particle pollution in the air.

The Area Plan Commission’s John Thomas said Tippecanoe County meets all the requirements when it comes to air quality.

“We are below standards, so relatively speaking our air quality is better than most other urban areas in Indiana,” said Thomas.

Is better good enough when it comes to the air we breathe?

Lindsay Grace from the American Lung Association says because an area passes doesn’t mean the air is clean.

“It just means you’ve sort of met the minimum standards of air pollution, but that doesn’t mean that you’re safe,” said Grace.

The report uses data from the Environmental Protection Agency’s various monitoring sites across the United States to look at levels of pollution in the air. Grace says short-term particle pollution is one of the most dangerous. This can be caused by vehicle emissions and factories.

“Those are the particles that are able to get deep into your lungs and really cause some major damage,” said Grace.

Grace said this kind of pollution can contribute to asthma and other respiratory diseases. Thomas said although the county is meeting the standards, air quality could still improve.

“It’s not significantly below and there are things that all of us can do to reduce pollution and improve our air quality,” said Thomas.

Something as simple as using public transportation can make a difference, and Grace said it’s something to be taken seriously.

“It really should be taken seriously, even getting a “C.” These sorts of air pollution can be incredibly harmful to one’s health, even healthy people,” said Grace.

For ways to improve air quality in your area, click here.

To see the American Lung Association’s “State of the Air” report, click here.

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