15 American Cities with the Worst Air Pollution

According to the American Lung Association (ALA), over 50% of Americans live in counties that have unhealthy levels of ozone or pollution particulates in the air. And that can spell bad news for your long term respiratory and overall health. If you're concerned about things like that, you might want to give pause before packing up and moving to these affected areas. Here's a list of the highest risk areas in the United States. 

1 of 15 Los Angeles- Long Beach, CA

It's gorgeous and sunny, but Los Angeles-Long Beach is ranked #1 out of 228 metro areas in high ozone days and #4 for annual particle pollution out of 171 metro areas by the ALA. For anyone living in LA, this should come as no surprise, as smog alerts are still a pretty common occurence in everyday life. It's so bad there that experts estimate around 1300 residents die of air pollution-related conditions each year. This is one city where air quality is literally life or death. That being said, there is some indication that LA's smog problem is moving in the right direction—it's no longer the hazy, cloudy city that it was in the 1990s. But there is still a long ways to go before things really improve. 

Image via: Flickr

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