Yakima ranked 17th city in nation for particle pollution - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima ranked 17th city in nation for particle pollution

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YAKIMA, WA - The air quality in Yakima is not something most residents worry about, but a new report might change that.

And firewood - or kindling - is part of the problem.

The State of the Air report shows the air quality in Yakima is not the best. This year's State of the Air report shows Yakima is #17 on the list of cities with short-term particle pollution. Short-term refers to pollution that lasts days or hours and can lead to death... and this has Yakima residents surprised.

"I didn't know that," said one Yakima resident, while another said, "I don't think it's terrible." 

"I'm kinda shocked that we're seventeenth in the nation," a third resident said.

The report is put together by the American Lung Association, and this year's report analyzes the country's pollution throughout the years 2014 to 2016.

The Clean Air Agency says Yakima being #17 on the list is no surprise. They say Yakima tends to have bad quality air during the months of October to February because of people burning wood to warm up their houses.

"I'm a bit surprised," said Melvin Mcguire, a Yakima resident. "Like I said, I always thought the pollution was because it settled in the valley because we're surrounded by mountains."

The report and the Clean Air Agency do confirm something positive though: Yakima was one of four cities to have the lowest days of pollution. 

"We want to live in a city that where we are going be at our healthiest," said Yakima resident Andrea Sagrero, "and ultimately pollution affects everybody." 

The report also showed that along with Yakima, Benton and Kittitas Counties were also on the list for having a high population that suffers from lung diseases, and Benton County was at the top.

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