Los Angeles Is No. 1 In Bad Air Quality, New Report Claims

Hold your breath for some bad news if you’re a local. A new report shows residents living in the Los Angeles and Long Beach area are breathing the unhealthiest air in the country.

The American Lung Association’s latest State of the Air report details the top five U.S. cities polluted by ground-level ozone air pollution, or smog. Four are located in Southern and Central California, with Los Angeles leading. The others, in order, are Visalia, California, Bakersfield, California, and Fresno-Madera-Hanford, California. The outlier is the Phoenix-Mesa metro area in Arizona.

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The five cities with the cleanest air include Honolulu, Hawaii, Johnson City, Tennessee, Lincoln, Nebraska, Bangor, Maine, and Wilmington, North Carolina.

Dr. Sarah Rees with South Coast Air Quality Management District said several factors contributing to ozone pollution come from human influences.

“Most of the pollution that forms ozone in our region is coming from mobile sources, so things like trucks, ships, trains and aircraft, and those are subject to federal authority,” Dr. Rees said.

The report also looked at particle air pollution, or soot, which comes from things like wildfires and diesel engines.

Despite Southern California’s ranking, the report shows ozone levels at about half of what they were historically.

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