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Air pollution

Note top ten U.S. cities with worst air pollution

Monday, May 17, 2010 by: Ethan Huff
Tags: air pollution, cities, health news

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(NewsTarget) The American Lung Association recently released its 2010 State of the Air report, which includes an outline of the ten worst U.S. cities for ozone pollution. Car exhaust fumes, chemical plant pollution, and residue from industrial boilers and refineries are some of the many contaminants included in the ozone category.

The report indicates that high levels of ozone can cause congestion and breathing problems, and can even lead to severe respiratory illnesses like bronchitis and pneumonia. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), prolonged exposure to ozone over time can cause permanent scarring to lung tissue.

So which cities ranked the worst according to the report? Well, eight of them are in California, with the Los Angeles metropolitan area topping the list as the most polluted area. The entire list is as follows:

1. Los Angeles, Calif., metropolitan area (including Long Beach and Riverside)
2. Bakersfield, Calif.
3. Visalia and Porterville, Calif.
4. Fresno and Madera, Calif.
5. Sacramento, Calif., metropolitan area (including Arden-Arcade and Yuba City)
6. Hanford and Corcoran, Calif.
7. Houston, Texas, metropolitan area (including Baytown and Huntsville)
8. San Diego, Calif., metropolitan area (including Carlsbad and San Marcos)
9. San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles, Calif.
10. Charlotte, N.C., metropolitan area (including Gastonia and Salisbury)

It is not particularly surprising to see California dominate the list because its coastal topography seems to be particularly prone to harboring "smog". This, combined with dense populations in many of these areas, often causes severe air pollution.

However many cities across the nation have bad pollution days as it varies from day to day. Airnow.gov provides daily reports and forecasts for air conditions across the country.

The report recommends that people limit strenuous outdoor activity on high-ozone days and keep their activity indoors; however, other conflicting reports indicate that pollution levels indoors can actually be worse than they are outdoors, especially on high-ozone days.

Though there isn't much that can be done about outdoor air pollution, people can purchase air purifiers for use indoors that will help to limit exposure to pollution, especially on high-ozone days. Air purifiers will also help to rid indoor air of other toxic fumes that are emitted from things like cleaning products, paint, carpet and even chlorinated tap water.

Keeping the immune system in tip-top shape through healthy eating and regular exercise (at least on days when there is clean air) will also help the body to fight off the effects of pollution.

Sources:

Top 10 U.S. Cities for Ozone Pollution - U.S. News & World Report

Northern Utah's air is the worst in the nation - KSL.com

Local Air Quality Conditions and Forecasts - AirNow.gov

About the author

Ethan Huff is a freelance writer and health enthusiast who loves exploring the vast world of natural foods and health, digging deep to get to the truth. He runs an online health publication of his own at http://wholesomeherald.blogspot.com.


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