2009 air quality report: Iberville gets another ‘F’

DEIDRE CRUSE, Governmental Reporter

The American Lung Association, issuing its 2009 State of the Air Report, gave Iberville Parish another failing grade for ozone pollution.

The Baton Rouge metropolitan area, of which Iberville is a part, improved somewhat in its ozone pollution ranking – from 10th worst in the nation last year to 21st worst this year.

Iberville Parish had a weighted average of 25.2 high ozone days over 2005-07, the lung association report said. Most of the days were listed as “orange ozone days,” meaning that poor air quality affects sensitive people, although on more than two days the air quality hit the “red” rank, meaning it was unhealthy for all people. The numbers were about the same as the ones that gave the parish an “F” on the report last year.

From 2004-06, the association said, Iberville had 23 orange ozone days and one red day.

The parish has had no “purple ozone days,” said to be “very unhealthy for all people.”

Iberville, however, had regained a “B” grade for particle pollution. The parish had only one day in 2005-07 when particle pollution might have affected sensitive people.

The report showed an increase in the number of Iberville Parish residents at risk for cardiovascular disease, but showed the risks for other diseases at about the same levels as 2007.

In a population of 32,501, 706 were listed at risk for pediatric asthma, down from 748 last year; 1,550 at risk for adult asthma, up from 1,467 last year; 828 at risk for chronic bronchitis, down from 1,503 last year; 394 at risk for emphysema, down from 437 last year; 8,639 at risk for c0ardiovascular disease, up from 8,122 last year, and 1,840 at risk for diabetes, down slightly from 1,866 last year.

The parish has 7,767 children under age 18, and 3,702 residents age 65 or older.