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California: Dirtiest Air in Nation Belongs to L.A., Bakersfield

Image: California: Dirtiest Air in Nation Belongs to L.A., Bakersfield
The skyline of downtown Los Angeles through a layer of smog is seen in the distance from a rooftop in Hollywood, California, May 31, 2006. (Fred Prouser/Reuters)

By    |   Thursday, 21 April 2016 08:46 AM

California has the dirtiest air in the nation, according to a new report from the American Lung Association.

California cities dominated the rankings of the most air-polluted municipalities in the association's "State of Air" report released Wednesday, which focused on two of the most widespread outdoor air pollutants – ozone pollution and particle pollution.

Ozone and particle pollution are dangerous to public health and can be lethal, said an American Lung Association statement.

Bakersfield, California ranked No. 1 as the city with the most short term and year-round particle pollution while Los Angeles-Long Beach was the most ozone polluted area.

Three other California areas were named the most polluted by short-term particles along with Bakersfield, including Fresno-Madera, Visalia-Porterville-Hanford, and Modesto-Merced. The San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland area was listed as the eighth most polluted in this category, and Los Angeles-Long Beach as No. 9.

In terms of year-round particle pollution, Bakersfield, Visalia-Porterville-Hanford, Fresno-Madrea, Los Angeles-Long Beach, El Centro, Modesto-Merced, and San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland were listed as the top seven.

For ozone pollution, Visalia-Porterville-Hanford followed Los Angeles-Long Beach and Bakersfield as the most polluted, followed by Fresno-Madera as No. 4, and Sacramento-Roseville and Modesto-Merced tied for No. 6.

"California is making tremendous progress," Bonnie Holmes-Gen, senior director of air quality and climate change at the American Lung Association in California, told The Associated Press. "But we have a lot more work to do."

Ironically, Salinas, California, was listed as one of the four U.S. cities with the cleanest air, along with Burlington-South Burlington, Vermont; Elmira-Corning, New York; and Honolulu, Hawaii.

"Thanks to cleaner power plants and cleaner vehicles, we see a continued reduction of ozone and year-round particle pollution in the 2016 'State of the Air' report," said Harold P. Wimmer, national president of the American Lung Association.

"However, climate change has increased the challenges to protecting public health. There are still nearly 20 million people in the United States that live with unhealthful levels of all three measures of air pollution the report tracks: ozone, short-term and year-round particle pollution," Wimmer added.

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California has the dirtiest air in the nation, according to a new report from the American Lung Association.
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Thursday, 21 April 2016 08:46 AM
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