Despite improvements in curtailing harmful emissions from power plants, slightly more than half of Americans are being still exposed to unhealthy levels of smog and particle pollution (soot), according to the latest report — State of the Air: 2006 — from the American Lung Association.
The top U.S. metropolitan areas with the least amount of long-term soot in the air:
- Cheyenne, Wyo.
- Santa Fe/Espanola, N.M.
- Great Falls, Mont.
- Tucson, Ariz.
On the down side, four of the “low five” metro areas suffering the most soot pollution in America are located in California: Los Angeles/Long Beach/Riverside (1), Bakersfield (2), Visalia/Porterville (4) and Fresno/Madera (5).
Continual exposure to soot and ozone pollution is certainly harmful by itself, and even more so when you throw in the plague of obesity, that’s getting worse by the minute, into the mix.
To discover how clean or dirty the air in your county really is, check out this link on the American Lung Association’s Web site. Tap on your state using the blue U.S. map to learn about the amount of particle and ozone pollution in your county as well as estimates about the number of residents with health conditions that put them at risk.