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Environment Ohio released a new report Wednesday showing that the Cincinnati area ranks as the 16th smoggiest large metropolitan area in the country.

Smog is a harmful air pollutant that leads to asthma attacks and exacerbates respiratory illnesses.

The new report, Danger in the Air: Unhealthy Air Days in 2010 and 2011 shows that in total, residents in the Cincinnati area were exposed to air quality that made it dangerous to breathe on 14 days last year. Additionally, this summer, residents in the Cincinnati-Middletown-Wilmington area were alerted to unhealthy air on twenty days, including one “red-alert” day, when the air quality was so poor that anyone could experience adverse health effects.

The new report ranks cities in Ohio and across the country for the number of days when the air was unhealthy to breathe due to smog pollution last year and this summer.

Cincinnati City Councilman Wendell Young and Bill Lonneman, M.S.N, family nurse practitioner and assistant professor of nursing at College of Mount St. Joseph joined Environment Ohio in releasing today’s report outside of City Hall.

“Cincinnati has some of the most polluted air in the country,” said Lonneman.  “As a nurse, I know that the people who visit the city’s health clinics consistently report asthma as one of their top problems.”

Councilman Young called for cleaning up the city’s air.

“Every day, smog threatens the health and wellbeing of our children and our adults,” said Young.  “As a representative of Cincinnati and its residents, I cannot idly allow this to happen. We must look to our future and we absolutely must fight to protect and maintain our clean air safeguards.”

Article Courtesy of WOIO 19 Action News (CBS) Cleveland