California cities such as Bakersfield, Los Angeles, and Long Beach have again been named to a list of cities with the most air pollution caused by coal-fired power plants and older diesel truck engines.
The American Lung Association's annual "State of the Air" report for 2016 showed improvement in air quality, and found that 52.1% of U.S. residents live in counties with unhealthful levels of ozone or particle pollution.
The reports also identified the cities with the cleanest air, including Burlington-South Burlington, Vt.; Elmira-Corning, N.Y.; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Salinas, Calif.
"Everyone has the right to breathe healthy air," said Harold Wimmer, the association's national president and CEO. "We simply must do more to protect the health of Americans."
The report looks at three areas of pollution, including short-term particle pollution measuring particulate matter (PM2.5) over a 24-hour period, year-round particulate pollution (annual PM2.5), and ozone pollution.
Top short-term pollution areas include Bakersfield; Fresno-Madera, Calif.; Visalia-Porterville-Hanford, Calif.; Modesto-Merced, Calif.; Fairbanks, Alaska; Salt Lake City-Provo-Orem, Utah; Logan, Utah-Idaho; San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, Calif.; Los Angeles-Long Beach; and Missoula, Mont.
Top year-round pollution areas include Bakersfield; Visalia-Porterville-Hanford, Calif.; Los Angeles-Long Beach; El Centro, Calif.; Modesto-Merced, Calif.; San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland; Pittsburgh-New Castle, Weirton, Pa.-Ohio-W.Va.; Harrisburg-York-Lebanon, Pa; Louisville-Jefferson; and County-Elizabethtown-Madison, Ky.-Ind.
The top ozone-polluted cities include Los Angeles-Long Beach; Bakersfield; Visalia-Porterville-Hanford, Calif.; Fresno-Madera, Calif.; Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.; Sacramento-Roseville, Calif.; Modesto-Merced, Calif.; Denver-Aurora, Colo.; Las Vegas-Henderson, Nev.-Ariz.; and Fort Collins, Colo.
Read the full report here.
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