Most Americans breathe polluted air

Posted: May 1, 2009 in environment
Tags: ,
us-air-pollution
The following article was published by AboutMyPlanet:

Most Americans Breath Unhealthy Air

The American Lung Association’s 2009 State of the Air report was recently released and sheds light on the quality of air Americans are breathing on a daily basis. The report ranks pollution levels in U.S. cities and counties using levels reported between 2005 and 2007. The air quality measurements are collected regularly in cities and counties across the country and are submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The association based their rankings in the report on ozone pollution levels. However, they also collected data on short and long-term levels of particulate pollution. On a positive note, it was found that Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore all improved their quality of air.

However, the submitted levels of pollutants led the American Lung Association to declare that sixty percent of all Americans breath unhealthy air where they currently reside. Air pollution levels are at unhealthy levels at one time or another where 186.1 million people live across the country, mainly in cities. The last report found that 125 million Americans lived in such polluted areas. The drastic increase is most likely due to federal ozone standard changes.

The American Lung Association’s Assistant Vice President Janice Nolen stated: “Six out of 10 Americans right now as we speak live in areas where the air can be dirty enough to send people to the emergency room, dirty enough to shape how kids’ lungs develop and even dirty enough to kill.” The varying effects of breathing polluted air include: coughing, heart attacks, lung function decline, lung cancer and even death.

The cleanest U.S. cities for ozone pollution include those where no levels of ozone was ever detected in the unhealthy ranges. Some of the cities which made the list (in no particular order) include: Honolulu, Hawaii, Carson City, Nevada, Sioux Falls, S.D., Fargo, Minnesota and Port St. Lucie, Florida.

The top six cleanest cities for long-term particulate pollution are: Cheyenne, Wyoming, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Honolulu, Hawaii, Great Falls, Montana, Farmington, New Mexico and Anchorage Alaska. The worst include: Bakersfield, CA, Pittsburgh, PA, Los Angeles, CA and Porterville, CA.

The cities with the most ozone pollution include: Los Angeles, CA, Bakersfield, CA, Porterville, CA, Fresno, CA and Houston, Texas. To see the complete list of cities which are the best and worst for air quality, visit: State of the Air 2009.

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