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U.S. Cities With the Dirtiest Air

American Lung Association Says Los Angeles Has Worst Ozone Levels

Health Impact of Air Pollution

The American Lung Association says breathing tiny particles causes lung inflammation and can trigger and exacerbate diseases like asthma, chronic bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The American Lung Association found that 14 of the 25 most ozone-polluted areas had fewer unhealthy days than in last year's report. Still, it said, 167.3 million Americans remain exposed to unhealthy levels of the nation's most widespread outdoor pollutant -- ozone, or smog.

Norman H. Edelman, MD, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association, says in a news release that inhaling ozone "irritates your lungs, leaving them with something like a bad sunburn."

Mary H. Partridge, board chair of the American Lung Association, says more needs to be done to clean the nation's air and calls for additional funding to install equipment to clean up 20 million dirty diesel vehicles still on the roads.

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