Many cities in the U.S. enjoy air that is considered clean for one or more of the pollution measures tracked in "State of the Air". In this year’s report, 59 cities had zero high ozone days and 112 cities had zero high short-term particle days. Because year-round particle pollution is scored differently, the 25 cleanest cities for this measure can be ranked.

Top 5 cities:

Five cities rank on all three cleanest cities lists for ozone, year-round particle pollution and short-term particle pollution. They had zero days high in ozone or particle pollution and are among the 25 cities with the lowest year-round particle levels. Cities are listed in alphabetical order.

Burlington-South Burlington-Barre
Vermont
Charlottesville
Virgina
Elmira-Corning
New York
Urban Honolulu
Hawaii
Wilmington
North Carolina

Added to the list this year are Charlottesville, Virginia and Elmira-Corning, New York. Bangor, Maine was dropped this year because of incomplete data for one measure. The other three again repeat their ranking on this list.

 

Did You Know?

  1. Nearly 5 out of 10 people live where the air they breathe earned an F in State of the Air 2020.
  2. 150 million people live in counties that received an F for either ozone or particle pollution in State of the Air 2020.
  3. More than 20.8 million people live in counties that got an F for all three air pollution measures in State of the Air 2020.
  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 and cardiovascular disease.
  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 that 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. Climate change enhances conditions for ozone to form and makes it harder to keep ozone from forming.
  16. Climate change increases the risk of wildfires that spread particle pollution and ozone in the smoke.
  17. This Administration is trying to roll back or create loopholes in core healthy air protections under the Clean Air Act. The Lung Association opposes these actions that will add pollution to the air we breathe.
  18. 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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