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The American Lung Association has been issuing annual reports on the state of the air in the U.S. for nearly a quarter century. In the 2022 report, the metro area that includes Connecticut ranked 14th on the list of the 25 cities most polluted by ozone. And four of the state’s counties get an F for their ozone levels.
“Residents from the five largest cities — Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, Stamford and Waterbury — account for 18% of the state’s population, yet more than 40% of the asthma acute care charges,” said Ruth Canovi, the association’s Connecticut advocacy director.
The Connecticut DPH’s asthma program also collects data. Broadly, Connecticut’s adult asthma rate in 2020 was 10.6%, placing it among the top 10 to 12 states with the highest adult asthma rates. The rate for children is higher — 11.8%.
But while there are reams of statistics on asthma that paint a dire picture, they may still underplay the problem.
With the lag time in statistics, current data reflects the first pandemic years, when air was cleaner due to fewer people out and about in cars, businesses shut down, fewer people willing or able to seek medical care, and generally people just staying at home.
Read more: Air quality can affect health. Climate change is worsening both.