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New report flunks 4 AZ counties for poor air quality, marginalized communities most at risk

Devin Ford/Flickr

The American Lung Association has given four Arizona counties failing grades for air quality. According to the American Lung Association’s 2023 State of the Air report, Gila, Maricopa, Pima and Pinal received F’s.

The group’s recent survey says poor air quality has led to an increase in health concerns, particularly for marginalized communities.

According to a 2022 report conducted by the Arizona Department of Health Services, 23% of adults identifying as Black/African American have been diagnosed with asthma, compared with the 16% of white non-Hispanic adults. A 2019 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed Black people are five times more likely than white people to be hospitalized for asthma-related instances across the U.S.

The Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon Chapter has also issued a 2023 environmental report card citing the American Lung Association’s report. It ranks Phoenix air the seventh worst city in the country for particle pollution and fifth worst for ozone level.