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N.H. Residents Breathing Easy

A report out today from the American Lung Association says that New Hampshire’s air quality continues to improve.

The level of smog is falling in Hillsborough and Rockingham Counties. Both received a grade of ‘C’ this year compared to a ‘D’ in 2012.

Cheshire and Grafton earned an ‘A’, ranking them among the cleanest areas in New England. Coos County also saw its grade improve.

The figures come from readings taken by the Environmental Protection Agency between 2009 and 2011.

Ed Miller with the American Lung Association says exposure to smog can cause wheezing, asthma attacks and premature death.

“The more we learn about air pollution, the more we realize that it has a severe effect on our health and health care costs. It is a situation where our energy policy and our health policy need to be better aligned.”

Miller says most of the pollution in New Hampshire is blown in from power plants in the South and Midwest. But he says the state does contribute its own ozone, in the form of outdated wood burning stoves.

The American Lung Association is pushing for stricter air pollution standards at the federal, state and local levels.

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