Despite Green Reputation, California Dominates List of Dirtiest Air in America

While Californians may think of their state as a green leader, the American Lung Association would beg to differ. The Lung Association has released its annual “State of the Air” list of American cities with the best and worst air quality. Eight of the ten cities with the worst smog or ozone pollution are located in California and six of the worst ten cities for particle pollution are also in the Golden State.
The Lung Association uses data from the Environmental Protection Agency in determining the rankings.
The State of the Air list concluded that one in five Americans breathe dangerous levels of particle air pollution. “Particle pollution kills,” said Norman H. Edelman, M.D., American Lung Association Chief Medical Officer. “When you breathe these microscopic particles, you are inhaling a noxious mix of chemicals, metals, acid aerosols, ash and soot that is emitted from smokestacks, tailpipes, and other sources. It is as toxic as it sounds and can lead to early death, asthma exacerbations, heart attacks, strokes and emergency room visits in substantial numbers. Science clearly has proven that we need to protect the health of the public from the dangers of particle pollution.”
The list also concludes that nearly one half of Americans live in areas that have dangerous levels of ozone pollution (smog).
These troublesome conclusions comes at a time when members of Congress are threatening to roll back parts of the Clean Air Act, despite polling data that indicates bipartisan support for tougher clean air regulations. “Some in Congress are working to weaken the Clean Air Act and care more about protecting the interests of industry polluters than the health of Americans,” said Charles D. Connor, American Lung Association President and CEO.

Nation’s Most Polluted Cities:

10 Most Ozone-Polluted Cities

1. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, Calif.

2. Bakersfield-Delano, Calif.

3. Visalia-Porterville, Calif.

4. Fresno-Madera, Calif.

5. Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Yuba City, Calif.-Nev.

6. Hanford-Corcoran, Calif.

7. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, Calif.

8. Houston-Baytown-Huntsville, Texas

9. Merced, Calif.

10. Charlotte-Gastonia-Salisbury, N.C.-S.C.

10 Cities Most Polluted by Short-term Particle Pollution

1. Bakersfield-Delano, Calif.

2. Fresno-Madera, Calif.

3. Pittsburgh-New Castle, Pa.

4. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, Calif.

5. Salt Lake City-Ogden-Clearfield, Utah

6. Provo-Orem, Utah

7. Visalia-Porterville, Calif.

8. Birmingham-Hoover-Cullman, Ala.

9. Hanford-Corcoran, Calif.

9. Logan, Utah-Idaho

9. Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Yuba City, Calif.-Nev.

10 Cities Most Polluted by Year-Round Particle Pollution

1. Bakersfield-Delano, Calif.

2. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, Calif.

2. Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz.

2. Visalia-Porterville, Calif.

5. Hanford-Corcoran, Calif.

6. Fresno-Madera, Calif.

7.Pittsburgh-New Castle, Pa.

8. Birmingham-Hoover-Cullman, Ala.

9. Cincinnati-Middletown-Wilmington, Ohio-Ky.-Ind.

10.Louisville-Jefferson County-Elizabethtown-Scottsburg, Ky.-Ind.

10.Modesto, Calif.

Photo credit: arb.ca.gov/consprod/geninfo/cpsmog.htm

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