Youngstown agency says air quality has improved

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The Mahoning-Trumbull Air Pollution Control Agency is always thinking about air pollution.

The agency uses sulfur dioxide and ozone monitors to keep track of what’s in the air. Some of the monitors even provide a continuous stream of data which is analyzed for any high levels.

“The particulate matter and ozone formations are our biggest concerns in this area, so particulates are going to be generated from anything from dust on the road to industries to our facilities that are contributing to air pollution,” said Tara Cioffi, environmental health and air pollution director at the agency.

The tiniest things are mixing in the air with other gases and the sunlight, which is creating a reaction that’s creating air pollution. Even though it’s invisible, it can be damaging.

“Just like allergies, some people are more allergic to things,” Cioffi said. “Same thing with air pollution — you could be more sensitive.”

Children and people with respiratory issues are the most vulnerable.

2015 is the most recent year for The Ohio Air Quality report, which comes out in October for the previous year. It shows there were no air pollution alerts in 2015 plus sulfur dioxide levels in urban areas have dropped 61 percent in the last 10 years.

Cioffi said she believes less industry in the area, as well as better air quality controls and less of a population have contributed to better air quality.

The state report for 2016 comes out in the fall.