Cleanest U.S. Cities | American Lung Association

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Cleanest U.S. Cities

Six cities ranked on all three cleanest-cities lists for ozone, year-round particle pollution and short-term particle pollution. They had zero high ozone or high particle pollution days, and were among the 25 cities with the lowest year-round particle levels. Four have repeated their ranking on this list, but two join this list for the first time. Listed alphabetically below, these six cities are:

  • Bellingham, WA
  • Burlington-South Burlington, VT
  • Casper, WY
  • Honolulu, HI
  • Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL
  • Wilmington, NC

Eleven other cities ranked among the cleanest cities for both year-round and short-term levels of particle pollution. That means they had no days in the unhealthy level for short-term particle pollution and were on the list of the cleanest cities for year-round particle pollution. They are:

  • Cape Coral-Fort Myers-Naples, FL
  • Elmira-Corning, NY
  • Grand Island, NE
  • Homosassa Springs, FL
  • Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL
  • North Port-Sarasota, FL
  • Orlando-Deltona-Daytona Beach, FL
  • Pittsfield, MA
  • Pueblo-Cañon City, CO
  • Sierra Vista-Douglas, AZ
  • Syracuse-Auburn, NY

Eighteen other cities ranked among the cleanest for ozone and short-term particle pollution. That means they had no days in the unhealthy level for ozone or short-term particle pollution. They are:

  • Bangor, ME
  • Bowling Green-Glasgow, KY
  • Dothan-Enterprise-Ozark, AL
  • Eau Claire-Menomonie, WI
  • Fayetteville-Lumberton-Laurinburg, NC
  • Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO
  • Florence, SC
  • Fort Smith, AR-OK
  • Gadsden, AL
  • Greenville-Washington, NC
  • La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN
  • Lafayette-Opelousas-Morgan City, LA
  • McAllen-Edinburg, TX
  • Monroe-Ruston-Bastrop, LA
  • Rome-Summerville, GA
  • Springfield-Branson, MO
  • Tuscaloosa, AL
  • Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA

Two cities ranked on both lists for ozone and year-round particle pollution levels. Cheyenne, WY, and Salinas, CA, had no days in the unhealthy level for ozone pollution and were on the list of the cleanest cities for year-round particle pollution.

Did You Know?

  1. More than 5 out of 10 people live where the air they breathe earned an F in State of the Air 2016.
  2. Nearly 166 million people live in counties that received an F for either ozone or particle pollution in State of the Air 2016.
  3. Nearly 20 million people live in counties that got an F for all three air pollution measures in State of the Air 2016.
  4. Breathing ozone irritates the lungs, resulting in something like a bad sunburn within the lungs.
  5. Breathing in particle pollution can increase the risk of lung cancer, according to the World Health Organization.
  6. Particle pollution can also cause early death and heart attacks, strokes and emergency room visits for people with asthma, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
  7. Particles are smaller than 1/30th the diameter of a human hair. When you inhale them, they are small enough to get past the body's natural defenses.
  8. Ozone and particle pollution are both linked to increased risk of lower birth weight in newborns.
  9. Do you live near, or work on or near a busy highway? Pollution from the traffic may put you at greater risk of harm.
  10. People who work or exercise outside face increased risk from the effects of air pollution.
  11. Millions of people are especially vulnerable to the effects of air pollution, including infants, older adults and people with lung diseases like asthma.
  12. People of color and those earning lower incomes are often disproportionately affected by air pollution which put them at higher risk for illnesses.
  13. Air pollution is a serious health threat. It can trigger asthma attacks, harm lung development in children, and can even be deadly.
  14. You can protect your family by checking the air quality forecasts in your community and avoiding exercising or working outdoors when the unhealthy air is expected.
  15. Big polluters and some members of Congress are trying to change the Clean Air Act and dismantle 45 years' of progress. The Lung Association is fighting to keep the law strong to continue to protect public health.
  16. Cutting air pollution through the Clean Air Act will prevent at least 230,000 deaths and save $2 trillion annually by 2020.
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