Dr. Albert A. Rizzo has been a pulmonologist practicing in Delaware for three decades. As a pulmonary and critical care physician with Christiana Care Health System in Newark, he has seen patients suffering from a variety of lung diseases. Rizzo has seen his patients struggle to breathe and struggle to understand why they could not breathe. Rizzo has met them in the hospital and in the emergency room, as their struggles to breathe became near impossibility.
“What I have not seen in all of these years is a decrease in the number of people suffering from lung disease,” says Rizzo. “Lung disease is still the same killer that it was when I first began practicing medicine. And yet, I’m optimistic for the future.”
Rizzo, the former national volunteer chair of the American Lung Association, wants Delawareans to know that the lung association recently released its 14th annual State of the Air report.
“It shows that while the air most Americans breathe is still dirty, still polluted, still filled with too much smog and soot, it’s getting better. But better is not safe,” says Rizzo.
New Castle and Sussex counties received Fs for ozone pollution in the State of the Air 2013 report. In Kent County, smog levels decreased, resulting in Dover’s improved rank from 57th worst in the 2011 report to 80th in this year’s report of 232 metro areas.
Kent and Sussex counties favorably made the list of the nation’s cleanest counties for daily particle pollution, earning As with no unhealthful days during 2009-11 for the second consecutive year. The report shows that more than 80,000 Delawareans suffer from pediatric and adult asthma. That’s nearly 10 percent of the total population.
Rizzo urges everyone to take the time to visit www.stateoftheair.org and learn about the air quality in their community.