Those with chronic allergies and asthma already know that air quality on Cape Cod is not so great. Now a new report by the American Lung Association confirms it. In "State of the Air", Cape Cod gets an "F" .
That is equivalent to the air quality in Manhattan, with it's 8 million residents, and hundreds of thousands of cabs, cars and buses traversing the island each day and night.
The yellow haze you sometimes see at the beach at the end of a hot summer day is less the "lazy, hazy days of summer" and more a layer of air pollution brought in from factories in the midwest and pushed back by the ocean over the Cape. In fact, nearly all of Massachusetts gets a "C" or worse. Only Berkshire County in the western part of the state gets a "B". No county in Massachusetts earns an "A".
The data suggests that an average of 10 days per year are code "orange" indicating the air is unhealthy for "sensitive individuals"; the very young, those older than 65 and those with chronic lung conditions and heart disease. On these days, scientists recommend we limit our time outdoors, even if that time includes exercise.
Massachusetts lawmakers have pressed the federal government for stricter emissions standards in the midwest where much of the pollution is thought to originate. On a more individual level the American Lung Association advises everyone to drive less, use less electricity, and to not burn wood or trash.