Community

Decreasing


Days with Good Air Quality

What does this measure?

The percentage of days for which air quality was monitored and found to be good, indicating healthy air both for sensitive groups, such as people with asthma, and for the population as a whole. The Air Quality Index (AQI) summarizes levels of ground-level ozone, particulate matter (soot and other particles), carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide into one measure.

Why is this important?

Air quality is increasingly recognized as a "social determinant of health": a condition determined by the community in which one lives that is external to an individual person's control but has an impact on their health and well-being.

How does our county compare?

In 2021, 51% of days in Lancaster were healthy air days, below 64% in 2000. The year with the fewest healthy air days was 2014, at 34%. Lancaster lags behind its peer counties in air quality: in 2021, Berks had 72% of its days with good air quality, Chester had 80%, Cumberland had 76%, Dauphin had 67%, Lebanon had 74% and York had 68%. The air quality of Cumberland and Dauphin have all increased by significant amounts since 2000.

Notes about the data

Comparable national and state data is not available due to the quantity and location of EPA monitoring stations. Exposure to these pollutants can cause short-term health effects such as irritation to the eyes, nose and throat, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and shortness of breath. Continued exposure can also worsen medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease. Data for this indicator are expected to be released annually in July.

Days with Good Air Quality
2000200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018201920202021
Lancaster County64%58%61%62%62%56%62%58%66%56%54%42%42%56%34%51%51%56%67%65%70%51%
Berks County61%56%58%62%64%61%66%62%70%62%61%53%49%56%58%56%61%67%74%76%77%72%
Chester County73%47%43%51%52%46%54%47%57%44%47%52%60%61%60%53%62%61%75%73%83%80%
Cumberland County47%43%48%46%47%47%56%51%54%48%44%47%58%61%61%58%76%80%74%73%80%76%
Dauphin County50%37%45%39%41%39%48%45%49%57%54%55%53%53%56%51%68%75%76%78%76%67%
York County57%57%55%64%58%51%61%54%62%53%51%44%49%61%64%55%64%73%73%82%82%68%
Lebanon County58%47%60%53%61%52%50%71%77%85%74%

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Notes: Data were not available for the state or for some counties because they do not have air quality monitoring stations.




Number of Days with Good Air Quality
2000200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018201920202021
Lancaster County236211224228228203227211241203196152153205125185187205246238258186
Berks County222203213226234221206168257227222195178204212206222246270279280264
Chester County88100111134131116135120147153165180214221216195228221270266296278
Cumberland County135148165161162162188169193174161170212223221210276287270268292278
Dauphin County182135165144149143175164179208196199195194205185250275279286277241
York County207207201233214187223198227192185159181223232200236266268299301244
Lebanon County176173220193224189181260278144269

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Notes: Data were not available for the state or for some counties because they do not have air quality monitoring stations.




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