With two people suffering with bronchitis in my family this week, I got to thinking about air quality where I live. So I went to do some research and was appalled by what I found. Did you know that almost half of all Americans are breathing heavily polluted air on a daily basis?48.2 percent of the population lives in cities that received an “F” for air quality due to unhealthy ozone levels, and California is leading with the most cities with polluted air. 8 out of 10 cities in the US with dangerous air quality are in California, with some of the worst air in the country in smaller cities in the San Joaquin Valley, where a ring of mountains traps a stagnant stew of ozone and particulate matter. Los Angeles is number 2 on that list and San Diego, where we live, is ranked number 9.
Ground-level ozone, or smog, is the most widespread air pollutant, created by the reaction of sunlight on emissions from vehicles, power plants and other sources. When ozone is inhaled, it irritates the lungs. It can cause immediate health problems and continue days later. Ozone can cause wheezing, coughing, asthma attacks and even premature death. This is why the Clean Air Act is so important and why we need to make changes now or more people will get sick. So, yes, we should be concerned and we need to act now.
Here is the list of America’s 10 most air polluted cities:
2. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, CA
3. Visalia-Porterville, CA
4. Fresno-Madera, CA
5. Pittsburg-New Castle, PA
6. Modesto, CA
7. Birmingham-Hoover-Cullman, AL
8. Phoenix-Mesa. Glendale, AZ
9. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA
10. Sacramento-Arden-Aarcade Yuba City, CA
To read more about polluted air in the US: