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 May 16, 2005
Fewer U.S. Counties Record Unhealthy Air Pollution Levels
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The number of counties in the United States that recorded unhealthy levels of smog or microscopic soot has fallen recently, but more than half the people in the United States still live with health-threatening air pollution, says an American Lung Association report released Thursday.

The report, which covered 2001 to 2003, found that the number of counties with unhealthy air declined to 390 from 441 in the previous report, which covered 2000 to 2002. The Lung Association used U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data to prepare the report.

Cool and wet weather in 2001 to 2003, improved vehicle emission standards, and government controls on Eastern coal-fired power plants were the reasons for the drop in cases of unhealthy air, the report said.

The association noted that problems with unhealthy air persist in counties that are home to 152 million people -- 52 percent of the nation's population, the Associated Press reported.


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