8 of top 10 most polluted American cities are in California

According to a “State of the Air” report from the America Lung Association, 8 of the top 10 most polluted cities are from California.


Forget the Golden State. California should be called the Smoggy State.

Eight of the USA’s 10 most polluted cities, in terms of ozone pollution, are in California, according to the American Lung Association‘s annual “State of the Air” report, released Wednesday.

The Los Angeles/Long Beach area took the dubious distinction of being the nation’s most ozone-polluted city as it has for nearly the entire 19-year history of the report.

Overall, the report said about 133 million Americans — more than four of 10 — live with unhealthful levels of air pollution, placing them at risk for premature death and other serious health effects such as lung cancer, asthma attacks, cardiovascular damage and developmental and reproductive harm.

“We still have a lot to do in this country to clean up air pollution,” said Lyndsay Moseley Alexander, the director of the Association’s Healthy Air Campaign.

The report looked at pollution levels from 2014-16. Ozone pollution was worse overall in this report than it was in last year’s report.  

Bakersfield, Calif., was in second place for ozone pollution. Other California cities on the list include Fresno, Sacramento and San Diego. The only non-California metro areas in the top 10 list were Phoenix and New York City. 

Of the 10 most polluted cities, seven cities did worse in this year’s report, including Los Angeles and the New York City metro area.

The report also acknowledges that California is known to have some of the highest environmental regulations in the country. However, they say that it would be far worse without those regulations in place. This response does not explain the fact that cities without strict environmental regulations are not polluting as much as these 8 cities in California.

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