Report suggests air pollution in Las Vegas ranks among worst in country

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A new report suggests air pollution here in Las Vegas ranks among the worst in the country.  According to the report, back in 2016, the Las Vegas valley had more than 100 days of poor air quality.

However, local experts are disputing the numbers.

Tom Brown and his 3-year-old son Logan just moved to the valley. 

“This is kind of an area where you do a lot of stuff outdoors,” he said.

Brown likes to be outdoors, but he said he’s also concerned about the air pollution.

“I think it’s important no matter what city you live in that the air in the town that you live in is clean enough for you to breathe and not make you ill, especially if you have kids and stuff,” Brown said.

The new report by the Environment Nevada Research and Policy Center says that in 2016, more than two million people in the Las Vegas Metro Area experienced 145 days of degraded air quality.  According to the report, that’s the second worst in the country.

“It’s kind of surprising that it’s that high on the list,” Brown said.

Experts in Clark County say the air quality in the valley is not as bad as the new report suggests.

“We showed 20 days of air quality that was impacted to sensitive groups,” said Mike Sword, planning manager, Clark County Department of Air Quality.

The sensitive groups include the elderly, pregnant women, and people with heart disease.  With that said, Sword says the air pollution in Las Vegas has actually been going down.

“With exception of days like today where we’re impacted by smoke from forest fires outside the state, our air quality is generally good, we’ve been in attainment for everything for the last few years,” Sword said.

There’s still always plenty of room for improvement.

The number one cause of air pollution in the valley comes from cars.

“About the only thing personally that I can do is kind of limit my driving,” Brown said.

There’s a helpful tool to check the current air quality conditions in Las Vegas to see if it’s unhealthy for sensitive groups. The website is called AirNow.gov.
 

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