Air pollution has a tremendous impact on health. Modern research is quickly elaborating on the specifics of how ozone, carbon monoxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, and other particulate matter negatively impact health.
The American Lung Association’s Annual State of the Air report (R) offers a deep dive into the data regarding air quality in the United States. This 149-page report details such concerns as high-risk populations, trends in air pollutants, the current science relating to air pollution’s impact on health, and much, much more.
Annual State of Air Report
Among the many insights, this reports details which US cities represent the best and worst locations for overall air quality. In other words—which places to avoid and which cities to consider when concerned for air quality. The cities are ranked in order of the county with the worst air quality score within the metropolitan area. In other words, if a city spans 3 counties the worst score among those 3 counties was used—for both the best and worst rankings.
Cities with the Best Air Quality
The table below shows US Cities ranked in order of annual 2.5 PM measurements. While 2.5PM is not the only measure of air pollution, it is considered a functional measure of general air pollution. In other words, if you have concerns about specific pollutants interpret these results accordingly.
Cities with the Worst Air Quality
The cities below represent those in the US with the worst measures of annual 2.5PM air pollution. One note: the ALA’s report did not provide explicit numbers for these measurements and the figures below were estimated from visual charts.
|4||14.0||Los Angeles-Long Beach||CA|
|7||13.6||San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland||AK|
|22||10.3||St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington||MT|
About the Data
The rankings for these cities are display ranked in measure of annual 2.5PM air pollution. This is not the only available data but serves as a representation of general year-round air pollution. That is—a functional measure of what one could expect on any given day. Other measures in the report included ozone and 24-hour particulate matter.