HONOLULU (KHON2) — The American Lung Association released its 2022 State of the Air report which declared Urban Honolulu was among the best cities in the nation with the cleanest air.

The report was created to track and grade “Americans’ exposure to unhealthy levels of ground-level ozone air pollution, also known as “smog,” annual particle pollution, also known as “soot,” and short-term spikes in particle pollution, over three years, according to ALA.

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Soot pollution can come from power plants, motor vehicles, and industrial boilers. ALA said the report covers the years from 2018 to 2020.

The levels of ozone seen in many cities across the nation can harm the health of all people, but particularly at risk are children, older adults, pregnant people, and those living with chronic disease.” “Due to our geography and growing attention to renewable energy, we are fortunate to have some of the cleanest air in the United States in Honolulu, while Hawai’i County continues to struggle with particle pollution due to volcanic smog, also called vog.”


For ground-level ozone pollution, Honolulu ranked one of the cleanest cities in the nation for smog pollution.

All counties statewide received a “pass” grade for soot pollution. However, ALA said Honolulu metro area and the Kauai County have not seen an unhealthy day of soot pollution since 2015.

Hawaii Island County received a failing grade for 24-hour soot pollution, while Maui County received a “C” grade. Haro believes it is because of the vog from Kilauea.

“While in general Hawai‘i has some of the cleanest air in the nation, we must remain vigilant when phenomena that threaten our clean air occur, such as unhealthy vog episodes. It’s due to vog that Hawaii County doesn’t share the same clean air that we see on Oahu, Kauai, and Central and West Maui” said Haro.

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According to the report, nearly nine million more people were impacted by deadly soot pollution than reported last year.