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America’s Worst Air Polluted Cities

By Fredrica Syren

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:

1.Bakersfield-Delano, CA

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:




About Green Mom

Fredrica Syren, the author and founder of Green-Mom.com, was born in Sweden. Her mother was a classically trained chef who introduced her to many eclectic flavors and skills at a young age. Her mom’s passion for the outdoors and gardening planted the seed for her own love of nature and healthy eating. She received a degree in journalism and has worked as a print, Internet and broadcasting journalist for many years with big businesses within Europe and the United States. After her mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she with pre-cancer, Fredrica changed her career to become a full time yoga teacher and activist. A longtime world traveler, foodie and career woman, she was exposed to many facets of life, but nothing inspired her more than becoming a mom. After her first-born, Fredrica began a food blog focusing on local, seasonal, organic & vegetarian dishes. Years of food blogging developed into the cookbook Yummy in My Tummy, Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family. Upon the arrival of her second child, Fredrica founded Green-Mom.com. Her vision was to establish a site providing insight about gardening, home and personal care, baby & child, and of course food & nutrition. Green-Mom.com hosts many talented writers shedding light on ways to incorporate eco-friendly and nutritious practices for busy families. She is an advocate for organic, local and sustainable businesses. Fredrica hopes to inspire social change through her lifestyle, passion and business. Fredrica lives with her husband James Harker-Syren and their three children in San Diego, CA.

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