May 1, 2007 -- The American Lung Association today released its 2007 "State of the Air" report, which includes good news and bad news about America's air quality.
The good news: Smog levels across much of the country are lower than they were from 2003 to 2005, especially in the eastern U.S.
The bad news: Soot levels are rising in the eastern half of the nation. Soot levels are also high in many parts of the western U.S., but soot levels have dropped there since 2003-2005.
The report also includes the American Lung Association's annual list of the metropolitan areas with the most and least year-round soot.
The top spots are unchanged from last year. Cheyenne, Wyo., still has the least sooty air, and Los Angeles continues to lead the country in sooty air.
Following is the list of the top 26 metropolitan areas for clean air. Towns that tied are listed together.
- Cheyenne, Wyo.
- Santa Fe-Espanola, N.M.
- Great Falls, Mont.
- Farmington, N.M.
- Flagstaff, Ariz. and Tuscon, Ariz.
- Anchorage, Alaska and Bismarck, N.D.
- Albuquerque, N.M.
- Salinas, Calif.
- Pueblo, Colo.
- Fort Collins-Loveland, Colo.
- Rapid City, S.D. and Redding, Calif.
- Duluth, Minn.-Wis., Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz., and Pocatello, Idaho
- Fargo-Wahpeton, N.D.-Minn. and Midland-Odessa, Texas
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach, Fla.
- Billings, Mont.
- Colorado Springs, Colo.and San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, Calif.
- Reno-Sparks-Fernley, Nev. and Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Fla.
Here is the list of the 26 U.S. cities with the most soot (particle pollution) in their air year-round. Metropolitan areas are listed together.
- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, Calif.
- Pittsburgh-New Castle, Pa.
- Bakersfield, Calif.
- Birmingham-Hoover-Cullman, Ala. and Detroit-Warren-Flint, Mich.
- Cleveland-Akron-Elyria, Ohio
- Visalia-Porterville, Calif.
- Cincinnati-Middletown-Wilmington, Ohio-Ken.-Ind.
- Indianapolis-Anderson-Columbus, Ind.
- St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington, Mo.-Ill.
- Chicago-Naperville-Michigan City, Ill.-Ind.-Wis. and Lancaster, Pa.
- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville, Ga.
- York-Hanover-Gettysburg, Pa.
- Fresno-Madera, Calif. and Weirton-Steubenville, W.Va.-Ohio
- Hanford-Corcoran, Calif. and New York-Newark-Bridgeport, N.Y.-N.J.-Conn.-Pa.
- Canton-Massillon, Ohio
- Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, D.C.-Md.-Va.-W.Va. and Charleston, W.Va.
- Louisville-Jefferson County-Elizabethtown-Scottsburg, Ken.-Ind.
- Huntington-Ashland, W.Va.-Ky.-Ohio
- Philadelphia-Camden-Vineland, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md. and Hagerstown-Martinsburg, Md.-W.Va. and Rome, Ga.