Despite its wide open spaces, miles of greenery and , Putnam is polluted—and experts say ozone is a key contributor.
The 2012 State of the Air, a study from the American Lung Association, lists Putnam and Westchester as receiving F grades when it comes to high ozone days.
Ozone can be both positive and negative. The latter is the product of a chemical reaction between elements in the atmosphere, and is linked to output from motor vehicles and industrial plants, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The report looked at about 30 counties in New York. Four others took F grades, while B, C and D marks were distributed pretty evenly. No county in New York received an A.
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In neighboring Connecticut, Fairfield was one of five counties to receive F grades. Experts also gave out a C and D in that state.
"The State of the Air 2012 report looks at levels of ozone and particle pollution found in official monitoring sites across the United States in 2008, 2009, and 2010," the Association's website states. "...[It] shows that the air quality in many places has improved, but that over 127 million people—41 percent of the nation—still suffer pollution levels that are too often dangerous to breathe."
The report identifies more than half a dozen groups—from those under the age of 18 or over 65, to people who live with Diabetes—that are "at risk" for lung diseases. In Putnam, the total numbers for each group range from 1,510, for those diagnosed with Emphysma; to 26,273, for folks with Cardiovascular Disease.
According to the data, Putnam's total population is 99,710.
In this LoHud.com story, Jane Lerner and Aaron Scholder report that, despite the failing grades, both Putnam and Westchester had fewer high ozone alert days than in previous, similar time spans.
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