American Lung Association Names Local Cities Cleanest For Air Quality

FORT SMITH (KFSM)- The American Lung Association (ALA) said Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Springdale and Rogers are some of the cleanest cities in the nation for air quality.

The ALA released the 2018 State of Air Report, which found that four out of ten people in the United States live where the air is unhealthy, but for people living in some cities in our area, they're breathing some of the cleanest air in the country.

The report shows that the cities have had no days with unhealthy levels for pollution.

"I think that it`s a good thing, especially in this area," Kristy Richmond, Fort Smith resident said. "I think that it`s important that we have clean air because it is health purposes. It`s very important that we have good health as people and air plays a big part of it."

Dr. Daphne Macbruce is a pulmonologist at Mercy Hospital and said the common air-related cases she sees are asthma and COPD.

"Asthma is getting worse because of air pollution too and COPD," Dr. Macbruce said. "You can also have things such as pulmonary fibrosis and other types in lung diseases from air pollution. They may not be directly caused but they are related to air pollution."

The doctor has asthma herself and said she's seen a change in her breathing since she moved here.

"I haven`t had that many problems since I moved here, so it`s good to know it comes from the air being cleaner here," Dr. Macbruce said. "It does feel more easy to breathe here than compared to other places."

Other residents aid they'll get outdoors as often as possible to take in the cleaner air this area offers.

"Walking and breathing the fresh air and out in nature is very good for us," Richmond said. "Very healthy for us."

"It`s good to know that you live in a place where you can get out and be free and enjoy life," Dr. Macbruce said.

Dr. Macbruce said breathing the clean air can help prevent lung disease, heart disease and other lung-related illnesses on top of other health precautions.

As for some of the not-so-clean cities, Little Rock and North Little Rock are on the list for most polluted cities by year-round particle pollution.

For the full State of Air 2018 report, click here.