By Lauro Silva

Albuquerque Journal

May 12, 2024

In April, the American Lung Association released its annual State of the Air report, grading metropolitan areas and counties across the country on their air quality.

Unsurprisingly to working class communities of color in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, Bernalillo County received failing grades for ozone and fine particulate matter. This most recent State of the Air report cemented the Albuquerque metropolitan area’s place as one of the most polluted medium-sized cities in the nation.

These failing grades aren’t just a reputational blemish — they have very real and very dire implications for Bernalillo County residents. Ozone, or smog, irritates the respiratory system and can trigger asthma attacks in at-risk groups. Fine particulate matter, or soot, can cause a range of diseases including heart and lung dysfunction, and even cognitive impairment. …