The good news: Smog levels across much of the country are lower than they were from 2003 to 2005, especially in the eastern United States.
The bad news: Soot levels are rising in the eastern half of the nation. Soot levels are also high in many parts of the western United States, but soot levels have dropped there since 2003-2005.
The report also includes the American Lung Association's annual list of the metropolitan areas with the most and least year-round soot.
The top spots are unchanged from last year. Cheyenne, Wyo., still has the least sooty air, and Los Angeles continues to lead the country in sooty air.
Following is the list of the top 26 metropolitan areas for clean air. Towns that tied received the same number.
- Cheyenne, Wyo.
- Santa Fe-Espanola, N.M.
- Great Falls, Mont.
- Farmington, N.M.
- Flagstaff, Ariz.
- Tucson, Ariz.
- Anchorage, Alaska
- Bismarck, N.D.
- Albuquerque, N.M.
- Salinas, Calif.
- Pueblo, Colo.
- Fort Collins-Loveland, Colo.
- Rapid City, S.D.
- Redding, Calif.
- Duluth, Minn.-Wis.
- Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.
- Pocatello, Idaho
- Fargo-Wahpeton, N.D.-Minn.
- Midland-Odessa, Texas
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach, Fla.
- Billings, Mont.
- Colorado Springs, Colo.
- San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, Calif.
- Reno-Sparks-Fernley, Nev.
- Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Fla.
Here is the list of the 26 U.S. cities with the most soot (particle pollution) in their air year-round. Metropolitan areas that tied received the same number.
- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, Calif.
- Pittsburgh-New Castle, Pa.
- Bakersfield, Calif.
- Birmingham-Hoover-Cullman, Ala.
- Detroit-Warren-Flint, Mich.
- Cleveland-Akron-Elyria, Ohio
- Visalia-Porterville, Calif.
- Cincinnati-Middletown-Wilmington, Ohio-Ken.-Ind.
- Indianapolis-Anderson-Columbus, Ind.
- St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington, Mo.-Ill.
- Chicago-Naperville-Michigan City, Ill.-Ind.-Wis.
- Lancaster, Pa.
- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville, Ga.
- York-Hanover-Gettysburg, Pa.
- Fresno-Madera, Calif.
- Weirton-Steubenville, W.Va.-Ohio
- Hanford-Corcoran, Calif.
- New York-Newark-Bridgeport, N.Y.-N.J.-Conn.-Pa.
- Canton-Massillon, Ohio
- Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, D.C.-Md.-Va.-W.Va.
- Charleston, W.Va.
- Louisville-Jefferson County-Elizabethtown-Scottsburg, Ken.-Ind.
- Huntington-Ashland, W.Va.-Ky.-Ohio
- Philadelphia-Camden-Vineland, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md.
- Hagerstown-Martinsburg, Md.-W.Va.
- Rome, Ga.
By Miranda Hitti
Reviewed by Louise Chang, M.D.
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