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Which Cities Have The Dirtiest Air?

The American Lung Association today released its 2007 "State of the Air" report, which includes good news and bad news about America's air quality.

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.

Cleanest Air

Following is the list of the top 26 metropolitan areas for clean air. Towns that tied received the same number.

  1. Cheyenne, Wyo.

  2. Santa Fe-Espanola, N.M.

  3. Honolulu

  4. Great Falls, Mont.

  5. Farmington, N.M.

  6. Flagstaff, Ariz.

  7. Tucson, Ariz.

  8. Anchorage, Alaska

  9. Bismarck, N.D.

  10. Albuquerque, N.M.

  11. Salinas, Calif.

  12. Pueblo, Colo.

  13. Fort Collins-Loveland, Colo.

  14. Rapid City, S.D.

  15. Redding, Calif.

  16. Duluth, Minn.-Wis.

  17. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.

  18. Pocatello, Idaho

  19. Fargo-Wahpeton, N.D.-Minn.

  20. Midland-Odessa, Texas

  21. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach, Fla.

  22. Billings, Mont.

  23. Colorado Springs, Colo.

  24. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, Calif.

  25. Reno-Sparks-Fernley, Nev.

  26. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Fla.

Sootiest Air

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.

  1. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, Calif.

  2. Pittsburgh-New Castle, Pa.

  3. Bakersfield, Calif.

  4. Birmingham-Hoover-Cullman, Ala.

  5. Detroit-Warren-Flint, Mich.

  6. Cleveland-Akron-Elyria, Ohio

  7. Visalia-Porterville, Calif.

  8. Cincinnati-Middletown-Wilmington, Ohio-Ken.-Ind.

  9. Indianapolis-Anderson-Columbus, Ind.

  10. St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington, Mo.-Ill.

  11. Chicago-Naperville-Michigan City, Ill.-Ind.-Wis.

  12. Lancaster, Pa.

  13. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville, Ga.

  14. York-Hanover-Gettysburg, Pa.

  15. Fresno-Madera, Calif.

  16. Weirton-Steubenville, W.Va.-Ohio

  17. Hanford-Corcoran, Calif.

  18. New York-Newark-Bridgeport, N.Y.-N.J.-Conn.-Pa.

  19. Canton-Massillon, Ohio

  20. Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, D.C.-Md.-Va.-W.Va.

  21. Charleston, W.Va.

  22. Louisville-Jefferson County-Elizabethtown-Scottsburg, Ken.-Ind.

  23. Huntington-Ashland, W.Va.-Ky.-Ohio

  24. Philadelphia-Camden-Vineland, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md.

  25. Hagerstown-Martinsburg, Md.-W.Va.

  26. Rome, Ga.

By Miranda Hitti
Reviewed by Louise Chang, M.D.
©2007 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved
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