Released Wednesday, the State of the Air report examined 2008-2010 ozone levels, the main ingredient of smog air pollution, and air-particle pollution at official measuring sites across the U.S.
Big picture, there was good news to be had. "Out of the 25 cities with the most ozone pollution, 22 saw improvements in air quality over last year's report. Similar advancements were seen among cities with the most year-round particle pollution," notes Zelman. Unfortunately, the good news didn't go much further. "More than 127 million Americans -- about 41 percent of the country -- still suffer from pollution levels that can make breathing dangerous."
In the rankings of the regions with the most year-round particle pollution, the first five of the top ten are all located in California, with 1) Bakersfield and Delano, 2) Hanford and Corcoran, and 3) Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Riverside, leading the list.
According to Zelman, "California regions face challenges due in part to the agricultural processes, weather and goods-movement industry there. The goods-movement industry includes everything from ships, trucks and trains to machines that load and unload freight and stock store shelves."