New research shows Ohio among states with poorest air quality

New research shows Ohio among states with poorest air quality

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - A new report released Tuesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council shows Ohio is one of the worst states for ragweed and smog, making it flat-out difficult to breathe.

The NRDC research maps out the worst areas in the country for smog and ragweed, called the "Double Whammy."

Ohio ranks as the sixth worst in air quality and about 900,000 Ohio residents have asthma. On the NRDC map, Lucas and Wood Counties are high in both smog and ragweed.

"The incidents of asthma seems to be increasing," said Dr. James Tito, who works in pulmonary critical care for Mercy Health.

Dr. Tito says there could be a number of reasons for the rise in diagnoses.

"Increased levels of pollution and smog," Dr. Tito said. "We know that a risk factor of asthma is premature birth."

The NRDC research points to climate change as the culprit for poor air quality. Dr. Tito says that is very possible

"As we warm up, chemical reactions which cause smog and amplify it, actually get worse," Dr. Tito explained. "As far as the pollen goes, it's probably related to warm and moisture."

Dr. Tito says the good news is there is treatment out there, making it possible for you to still enjoy the great outdoors.

"I would say that probably about 95 percent of patients who stay on their medications and take them regularly will feel almost as if they don't have asthma," Dr. Tito said.

If you're an allergy sufferer, Doctor Tito says many over the counter antihistamines work, but on rough days, you may just want to stay inside.

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