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Lung Disease & Respiratory Health Center

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Worst U.S. Air: Bakersfield, Calif.; Best: Honolulu, Santa Fe

Lung Association Says Air Pollution Kills, Ranks Best/Worst U.S. Cities, Counties

The Top 10 U.S. Cities for Dirty Air

The top 10 U.S. cities for year-round particle pollution are:

1. Bakersfield-Delano, Calif.

2. (tie) Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, Calif.

2. (tie) Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz.

2. (tie) 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. (tie)Louisville-Jefferson County-Elizabethtown-Scottsburg, Ky.-Ind.

10. (tie) Modesto, Calif.

The top 10 U.S. cities for short-term bursts of particle pollution are:

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. (tie) Hanford-Corcoran, Calif.

9. (tie) Logan, Utah-Idaho

9. (tie) Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Yuba City, Calif.-Nev.

The top 10 U.S. cities for ozone pollution are:

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.

Top 10 U.S. Cities for Clean Air

The 10 U.S. cities with the least year-round particle pollution are:

1. Cheyenne, Wyoming

2. Santa Fe-Espanola, N.M.

3. Tucson, Ariz.

4. (tie) Great Falls, Mont.

4. (tie) Honolulu, Hawaii

6. Anchorage, Alaska

7. (tie) Albuquerque, N.M.

7. (tie) Amarillo, Texas

9. Redding, Calif.

10. Salinas, Calif.

The ALA did not rank cities on least short-term particle pollution or least ozone pollution, but did list cities with no unhealthful days of either kind of pollution. Only Honolulu and Santa Fe appear on all three lists.

There are air quality monitors in about 900 of the more than 3,000 counties in the U.S. The ALA grades each county on its air quality; the results can be found on the ALA's web site.

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