South Florida makes headway in air quality

Some encouraging news for air quality in the Miami-Metro and surrounding areas.

In their 2023 “State of the Air” release on Friday, the American Lung Association found that several South Florida counties received passing grades for ozone and particle pollution.

Nationally, the report found that ozone pollution has generally improved across the nation however some communities bear a greater burden of air pollution.

Out of the nearly 120 million people who live in areas with unhealthy air quality, a disproportionate number, more than 64 million or 54 percent, are people of color.

With a fourth of Americans in western states living with higher than acceptable levels of ozone and particle pollution, the American Lung Association is calling on President Biden to urgently move forward on several measures to clean up air pollution nationwide.

Another issue involving the Biden administration is an effort underway to roll out a new program to make sure uninsured Americans have continued access to COVID-19 vaccines.

The program would allow officials to buy doses for uninsured Americans after the current federal supply runs out and after the shots move to the private market.

Some vaccine makers are expected to charge up to $130.00 per dose but under the new plan, federal agencies would set up contracts with pharmacies to make sure they administer shots for free.

The government would also distribute doses to local health departments across the country.

And more middle and high school students are misusing ADHD prescription drugs.

A recent study found that one in four students used the medication without having a doctor’s prescription or for non-medical reasons.

The findings were based on the answers of more than 230,000 students in the 8th, 10th and 12th grade.

Researchers said that misuse can have several effects on the body including heart and brain problems.

About the Authors:

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.