Shaila’s Weblog

Most Polluted U.S. Cities – 2009 Report

Posted on: April 29, 2009

The air that most Americans breathe may not be as clean as they think — depending on where they live, at least.
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City Rankings from American Lung Association

Most Polluted U.S. Cities by Ozone

#1 Los Angeles
#2 Bakersfield
#3 Visalia
#4 Fresno
#5 Houston
#6 Sacramento
#7 Dallas-Fort Worth
#8 Charlotte
#9 Phoenix
#10 El Centro
#11 Hanford
#12 Las Vegas
#13 San Diego
#14 D.C./Baltimore
#15 Cincinnati
#16 Philadelphia
#17 St. Louis
#18 New York City
#19 Knoxville
#20 Birmingham
#21 Baton Rouge
#22 Kansas City
#23 Atlanta
#24 Merced
#25 Memphis

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Roughly 60 percent of Americans live in areas where air pollution has reached unhealthy levels that can make people sick, suggests the 2009 State of the Air report released today by the American Lung Association.

Most Polluted U.S. Cities By Year Round Particle Pollution

#1 Bakersfield
#2 Pittsburgh
#3 Los Angeles
#4 Visalia
#5 Birmingham
#6 Hanford
#7 Fresno
#8 Cincinnati
#9 Detroit
#10 Cleveland
#11 Charleston
#11 Huntington
#11 Louisville
#14 Macon
#14 St. Louis
#16 Weirton
#17 Atlanta
#18 Indianapolis
#18 Rome
#20 Canton
#20 York
#22 Lancaster
#22 New York City
#24 Hagerstown
#24 Houston

Most Polluted U.S. Cities by Short Term Particle Pollution

#1 Pittsburgh
#2 Fresno
#3 Bakersfield
#4 Los Angeles
#5 Birmingham
#6 Salt Lake City
#7 Sacramento
#8 Logan
#9 Detroit
#9 Chicago
#11 Indianapolis
#12 Visalia
#13 Eugene
#14 D.C. / Baltimore
#15 Hanford
#16 New York City
#17 Modesto
#18 Merced
#19 Louisville
#20 Philadelphia
#20 San Jose
#22 Provo
#23 San Diego
#24 Harrisburg
#25 St. Louis

The 2009 report was based on data collected at some 900 monitoring sites across the country during a three-year period from 2005 through 2007. Researchers measured the air quality of different areas using three criteria — long-term particle pollution, short-term particle pollution and ozone concentration. All three forms of pollution have been shown to have negative health effects.

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