Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

25 Most and Least Polluted Cities in America

Health + Wellness

The American Lung Association′s (ALA) annual "State of the Air" report came out Wednesday. The report reviews monitoring data on the two most common and harmful types of air pollution—ozone (smog) and particle pollution (soot)—and compiles "a report card" telling how much of each type of pollution is in the air where you live.

Los Angeles is the number one most ozone-polluted city.
Razvan Bucur / Shutterstock.com

The state of the air in the U.S. is still appalling. As much as we criticize China for its abhorrent air pollution levels, the U.S. has a long way to go to ensuring clean air for everyone. More than 4 in 10 people in the U.S. live in counties that have unhealthy levels of either ozone or particle pollution, according to the ALA. "High levels of pollution can cause severe asthma attacks, heart attacks and strokes," says the ALA. "Recently, the World Health Organization concluded that particle pollution can cause lung cancer, the number one cancer killer in America."

While some cities improved, other cities only got worse. "Dangerous short-term spikes in particle pollution increased in many cities, particularly in the western U.S., with some cities showing their worst problems since the report began," says the ALA. The report even found climate change is exacerbating air pollution. "Climate change creates the ideal conditions for both particle and ozone pollution," says the ALA. "Warmer weather increases the risk of ozone pollution and makes cleaning it up even more challenging. Rising temperatures also increase droughts, wildfires and other sources of particle pollution."

The report is very thorough, breaking down the findings to rank cities and counties based on short-term particle pollution, year-round particle pollution and ozone pollution. It found that nearly 24 million people (7.6 percent) in the U.S. live in counties with unhealthful year-round levels of particle pollution and nearly 17.8 million people live in 12 counties with unhealthful levels of all three: ozone and short-term and year-round particle pollution.

Here are some of the report's rankings of the most and least polluted American cities. For a full list click here.

People at Risk In 25 U.S. Cities Most Polluted by Short-term Particle Pollution

 People at Risk In 25 U.S. Cities Most Polluted by Year-Round Particle Pollution

People at Risk In 25 Most Ozone-Polluted Cities

Cleanest U.S. Cities for Short-term Particle Pollution

Top 25 Cleanest U.S. Cities for Year-Round Particle Pollution

Cleanest U.S. Cities for Ozone Air Pollution

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Alaskan Entrepreneur Wants to Sell Bulk Water Shipments to Drought-Stricken California

Organic Milk Under Attack by Scaremongers

Night Sky Comes Alive in Breathtaking Time-Lapse Viral Video

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Zak Smith

It is pretty amazing that in this moment when the COVID-19 outbreak has much of the country holed up in their homes binging Netflix, the most watched show in America over the last few weeks has been focused on wildlife trade — which scientists believe is the source of the COVID-19 pandemic. Make no mistake: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is about wildlife trade and other aspects of wildlife exploitation, just as surely as the appearance of Ebola, SARS, MERS, avian flu and probably COVID-19 in humans is a result of wildlife exploitation. As a conservationist, this is one of the things I've been thinking about while watching Tiger King. Here are five more:

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Hector Chapa

With the coronavirus pandemic quickly spreading, U.S. health officials have changed their advice on face masks and now recommend people wear cloth masks in public areas where social distancing can be difficult, such as grocery stores.

But can these masks be effective?

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Jörg Carstensen / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Carey Gillam

Bayer AG is reneging on negotiated settlements with several U.S. law firms representing thousands of plaintiffs who claim exposure to Monsanto's Roundup herbicides caused them to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma, sources involved in the litigation said on Friday.

Read More Show Less
Tom Werner / DigitalVision / Getty Images

By Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

With many schools now closed due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, you may be looking for activities to keep your children active, engaged, and entertained.

Although numerous activities can keep kids busy, cooking is one of the best choices, as it's both fun and educational.

Read More Show Less
In Germany's Hunsrück village of Schorbach, numerous photovoltaic systems are installed on house roofs, on Sept. 19, 2019. Thomas Frey / Picture Alliance via Getty Images

Germany's target for renewable energy sources to deliver 65% of its consumed electricity by 2030 seemed on track Wednesday, with 52% of electricity coming from renewables in 2020's first quarter. Renewable energy advocates, however, warned the trend is imperiled by slowdowns in building new wind and solar plants.

Read More Show Less