How Does Your Air Quality Rank?

Joanna Zelman reports on the good news and bad news contained in the American Lung Association's just released study, "State of the Air 2012." If you live in California, you may not want to read on.

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."

Full Story: State Of The Air 2012: American Lung Association Reports Improvements, Challenges



Irvin Dawid's picture

Except if you happen to live in Bay Area (Air pollution report)

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that "Bay Area no longer among 25 most-polluted regions", noting that "three (SF, Marin, Sonoma) of the nine least smoggy counties in California are located in the Bay Area", along with Santa Cruz, Mendocino, Lake, Humboldt, Glenn and Siskiyou.

Not so lucky are those of us residing in "car-congested" Silicon Valley. Peter Fimrite writes, "Much of the local smog can be blamed on car-happy Santa Clara County, which recorded seven days last year that exceeded federal ozone standards, the worst in the Bay Area. San Franciscans should not boast, though, because most of their pollution blows away and fouls other people's air, said Jenny Bard, the advocacy manager for the Lung Association in California."

Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

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