Wednesday, May 02, 2007

US Cities with the Most Smog-Polluted Air

According to the American Lung Association, the cities with the worst air quality in the United States are (in order):

Los Angeles, CA
Pittsburgh, PA
Bakersfield, CA
Birmingham, AL
Detroit, MI
Cleveland, OH
Visalia, CA
Cincinnati, OH
Indianapolis, IN
St. Louis. MO

All is not bad news for LA, though, because it is reported that even as it remains atop the list, the number of days residents breathed the nation's worst ozone levels was fewer than in previous years! This is a sign that Californians are taking the matter serviously and are doing their share to improve the environment.

Nationwide, however, an alarming trend continues. Soot levels, which are different from smog levels, are increasing.

From the AP:

The [American Lung Association] based the rankings on ozone pollution levels produced when heat and sunlight come into contact with pollutants from power plants, cars, refineries and other sources. The group also studied particle pollution levels emitted from these sources, which are made up of a mix of tiny solid and liquid particles in the air.

Such pollution can contribute to heart disease, lung cancer and asthma attacks, the association said. Those especially vulnerable to polluted air are children, senior citizens, people who work or exercise outdoors and people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Nearly half of the U.S. population lives in counties that still have unhealthy levels of ozone or particle pollution [emphasis added], even though there appeared to be less ozone in many counties than previous years, the study found.

. . . and this from Reuters . . .

Major sources of soot also include emissions from diesel vehicles including school buses, barges, trucks, tugboats and construction equipment, she said.

Even as the national level of ozone declined, a key component of smog, 99 million people in the United States live in counties with failing grades for ozone, according to the report.

Things seem to be improving, but more must be done to clean our environment.

Plant trees and flowers, stop littering, drive less, do anything you can to help improve the environment. You'll be glad you did!

Dick Mac Recommends:

Now & Then
Gil Scott-Heron

1 comment:


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