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The Health Policy Institute of Ohio has released a new 2021 Health Value Dashboard policy brief titled “A closer look at outdoor air pollution and health.”
Clean air and water, safe places to walk outside and access to healthy food are examples of conditions in the physical environment that affect the health and well-being of Ohioans. Outdoor air quality is included in the 2021 Health Value Dashboard™, where Ohio ranked 46th, meaning that most other states have cleaner outdoor air.
The brief found that there are differences in air pollution exposure from county to county, as illustrated in the graphic above. Hamilton and Cuyahoga counties have the highest levels of PM2.5 air pollution in the state, with high levels also reported across western and central Ohio.
Analysis by HPIO has found that the physical environment (including outdoor air quality) is strongly connected to a state’s overall health, only surpassed by public health and prevention. In fact, analysis of 2021 Dashboard data finds that the physical environment has a much stronger correlation with the overall health of a state than access to care or healthcare system performance.
The policy brief focuses on the importance of clean air and provides additional information on the outdoor air quality metric in the Dashboard, including how:
- Air pollution affects health outcomes
- Recent policy changes may affect air pollution
- Outdoor air quality can be improved in Ohio