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Green Living

Top 10 Most Polluted US Cities

by Chris Keenan 06 May 2012
Top 10 Most Polluted US Cities

Air pollution image via Shutterstock

Too many of the earth's cities are choked with polluted air, making it difficult for us inhabitants of this planet to breathe. Many people suffer from asthma, lung disease, or emphysema due to air pollution. There's no denying it: we made the earth this way.

The price of modern technology wasn't free. We had to build slowly and steadily over time, first discovering fire, and eventually overseeing the Industrial Revolution. Now the earth seems to be stuck at a crux, where we know something has got to change, but we don't have enough power to do it.

Big corporations continue to produce air pollution, the worst being in the state of California's Central Valley. We can talk about going green until we're blue in the face (which probably wouldn't take long, if you're located in one of the United States most polluted cities,) but the fact of the matter is, until we as a nation get a collective plan in gear, the air will continue to be polluted. Buying solar panel kits and recycling plastic bottles definitely helps the environment, but larger measures need to be taken in order to drastically reduce air pollution.

Below you will find three lists, of the top 10 most polluted cities, as according to the American Lung Association.

American Cities with the Most Year-Round Particulate Pollution:

1. Bakersfield- Delano, California

2. Hanford- Corcoran, California

3. Los Angeles- Long Beach- Riverside, California

4. Visalia- Porterville, California

5. Fresno- Madera, California

6. Pittsburgh- New Castle, Pennsylvania

7. Phoenix- Mesa- Glendale, Arizona

8. Cincinnati- Middleton- Wilmington, Ohio- Kentucky- Indiana<

9. Louisville- Jefferson County- Elizabethtown- Scottsburg, Kentucky- Indiana

10. Philadelphia- Camden- Vineland- St. Louis- St. Charles- Farmington, Pennsylvania- New Jersey- Delaware- Maryland- Missouri- Illinois

American Cities with the Most Short-Term Particulate Pollution:

1. Bakersfield- Delano, California

2. Visalia- Porterville, California

3. Hanford- Corcoran, California

4. Los Angeles- Long Beach- Riverside, California

5. Modesto, California

6. Pittsburgh- New Castle, Pennsylvania

7. Salt Lake City- Ogden- Clearfield, Utah

8. Logan, Utah-Idaho

9. Fairbanks, Alaska

10. Merced, California

American Cities with the Most Ozone Pollution:

1. Los Angeles- Long Beach- Riverside, California

2. Visalia- Porterville, California

3. Bakersfield- Delano, California

4. Fresno- Madera, California

5. Hanford- Corcoran, California

6. Sacramento- Yuba City- Arden- Arcade, California- Nevada

7. San Diego- Carlsbad- San Marcos, California

8. Houston- Baytown- Huntsville, Texas

9. San Luis Obispo- Paso Robles, California

10. Merced, California

The good news - if there is any - is that 22 of the 25 most polluted cities have shown signs of improvement since last year's report. This is reason alone to rally for stricter air quality standards, as well as reduce traffic congestion, which is the #1 cause of air pollution. It may take a while, but eventually we could make the air breathable again.

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