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Kelly Nicastro/MEDILL

Chicago received a failing grade in air quality from the American Lung Association.

Chicago flunks air quality test

by Kelly Nicastro
Jun 6, 2014

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Kelly Nicastro/MEDILL

Residents on the Southeast Side of Chicago protest new petcoke sites from entering the community.

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Kelly Nicastro/MEDILL

Since Chicago is one of the largest transportation hubs in the country, air quality has suffered as a consequence.

The latest American Lung Association report gave Chicago’s air quality a failing grade. The annual  “State of the Air” evaluation indicated the poor performance was due to the region’s high levels of smog and soot. The report covers the Chicago metropolitan area and officially ranked the region 14th worst in the nation for particle pollution (soot) and 20th worst for high ozone levels (smog). The report blames Chicago's pollution problem on its leading transportation status. The American Lung Association reported that nearly half of all Americans live in counties where pollution makes the air unhealthy to breathe.