Most Polluted Cities in America List 2011

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Most Polluted Cities in America List 2011 #1 Bakersfield, Ca

The most polluted cities in America list for 2011 called the State of the Air 2011and it shows that overall air quality has improved in many places, but there are still over 154 million people, or over half of the citizens of America still are affected by dangerous pollution levels. This unhealthy air puts these people’s health at serious risk. Since the Clean Air Act of 1970 we have reduced the air pollution threat, but the threat still lingers, and now some want to cut back on our clean air in the name of progress and growth, which is a bunch of garbage. I imagine that they don’t have to breath the air and have the money and free health insurance provided by us in case they do become ill from breathing poisonous air.

The State of the Air 2011 report looks at levels of ozone and particle pollution found in official monitoring sites across the United States in 2007, 2008, and 2009. The report uses the most current quality-assured nationwide data available for these analyses to determine the most polluted cities in America.

For particle pollution, the report examines fine particulate matter (PM) in two different ways: averaged year-round (annual average) and over short-term levels (24-hour). For both ozone and short-term particle pollution, the analysis uses a weighted average number of days that allows recognition of places with higher levels of pollution. For the year-round particle pollution rankings, the report uses averages calculated and reported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. For comparison, the State of the Air 2010 report for the most polluted cities in America covered data from 2006, 2007 and 2008.


Each of the 25 cities with the most ozone pollution improved their air quality over the past year’s report. More than half of the country’s most smog-polluted cities experienced their best year yet—but people living there are still forced to breathe air that reaches dangerous levels.

Of the 25 metropolitan areas most polluted by ozone, fifteen reported the lowest ozone scores since the State of the Air reports began: Los Angeles, CA; Bakersfield, CA; Fresno, CA; Sacramento, CA; Houston, TX; Dallas-Fort Worth, TX; El Centro, CA; Washington-Baltimore, DC-MD-VA; New York, NY; Knoxville, TN; Phoenix, AZ; Philadelphia, PA; Atlanta, GA; Pittsburgh, PA; and Las Vegas, NV.

Year-round particle pollution

The State of the Air 2011 finds continued progress in cutting year-round particle pollution, compared to the
2010 report. Thanks to reductions in emissions from coal-fired power plants and the transition to cleaner diesel fuels and engines, cleaner air shows up repeatedly in the monitoring data, especially in the eastern U.S.

All but two cities with the most year-round particle pollution improved over the previous report. Bakersfield, CA, and Hanford, CA, each had worse average year-round levels in 2007–2009 than in 2006–2008. Bakersfield, CA, moved into the most polluted city rank. Improving over the previous report were these 25 metropolitan areas: Los Angeles, CA; Phoenix, AZ; Visalia, CA; Pittsburgh, PA; Fresno, CA; Birmingham, AL; Cincinnati, OH; Modesto, CA; Louisville, KY; Cleveland, OH; Weirton-Steubenville, WV-OH; Charleston, WV; Huntington, WV; Indianapolis, IN; St. Louis, MO; Detroit, MI; Houston, TX; Hagerstown, MD; New York, NY; Dayton, OH; Lancaster, PA; York, PA; Philadelphia, PA; Knoxville, TN; and Parkersburg, WV.

Only these eight cities on the most polluted cities in America list averaged levels higher than the official national standard: Bakersfield, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Phoenix, AZ; Visalia, CA; Hanford, CA; Fresno, CA; Pittsburgh, PA; and Birmingham, AL. Nineteen of these cities actually had levels of year-round particle pollution that were lower than the official national air quality standard. However, that standard is currently under review. The American Lung Association and other public health and medical groups have long supported a much more protective national air quality standard for particle pollution.

Short-term particle pollution

Unlike with year-round particle pollution levels, fewer cities with the worst short-term levels improved in 2007–2009. Only 12 cities had fewer unhealthy days or lower daily levels, while 16 of the cities on the list did worse than in 2006–2008. One city stayed the same. Although “short-term” particle pollution looks at the same type of pollution that the year-round levels do, this measure focuses on the spikes in particle levels that can last from hours to days. Those days or weeks of high levels can be dangerous, even deadly.

Twelve cities improved in the most polluted cities in America list, having cut the average number of days with high particle levels: Pittsburgh, PA; Los Angeles, CA; Visalia, CA; Birmingham, AL; Sacramento, CA; Modesto, CA; Stockton, CA; Philadelphia, PA; Louisville, KY; Phoenix, AZ; San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA; and Wheeling, WV. The Chicago metropolitan area had the same average number of unhealthy days in 2007–2009 as in 2006–2008.

The remaining sixteen cities on the most polluted cities in America list for 2011 had more days or higher daily levels: Bakersfield, CA (ranked most polluted); Fresno, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; Provo, UT; Hanford, CA; Logan, UT; Merced, CA; Eugene-Springfield, OR; San Diego, CA; Seattle-Tacoma, WA; Fairbanks, AK; Macon, GA; Green Bay, WI; Davenport, IA; Portland, OR; and Madison, WI.

Most Polluted Cities in America

Most Polluted Cities in America By Ozone

#1: Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, CA
#2: Bakersfield-Delano, CA
#3: Visalia-Porterville, CA
#4: Fresno-Madera, CA
#5: Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Yuba City, CA
#6: Hanford-Corcoran, CA
#7: San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA
#8: Houston-Baytown-Huntsville, TX
#9: Merced, CA
#10: Charlotte-Gastonia-Salisbury, NC-SC
#11: San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, CA
#12: Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
#13: El Centro, CA
#14: Modesto, CA
#14: Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV
#16: Cincinnati-Middletown-Wilmington, OH-KY-IN
#17: New York-Newark-Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA
#18: Knoxville-Sevierville-La Follette, TN
#19: Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ
#20: Philadelphia-Camden-Vineland, PA-NJ-DE-MD
#21: Birmingham-Hoover-Cullman, AL
#22: Chico, CA
#23: Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville, GA-AL
#24: Pittsburgh-New Castle, PA
#25: Las Vegas-Paradise-Pahrump, NV

Most Polluted Cities in America By Year Round Particle Pollution

#1: Bakersfield-Delano, CA
#2: Visalia-Porterville, CA
#2: Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ
#2: Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, CA
#5: Hanford-Corcoran, CA
#6: Fresno-Madera, CA
#7: Pittsburgh-New Castle, PA
#8: Birmingham-Hoover-Cullman, AL
#9: Cincinnati-Middletown-Wilmington, OH-KY-IN
#10: Modesto, CA
#10: Louisville-Jefferson County-Elizabethtown-Scottsburg, KY-IN
#12: Charleston, WV
#12: Steubenville-Weirton, OH-WV
#12: Cleveland-Akron-Elyria, OH
#15: Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH
#15: Indianapolis-Anderson-Columbus, IN
#17: St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington, MO-IL
#17: Detroit-Warren-Flint, MI
#17: Houston-Baytown-Huntsville, TX
#20: Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV
#21: New York-Newark-Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA
#22: Lancaster, PA
#22: Dayton-Springfield-Greenville, OH
#24: Knoxville-Sevierville-La Follette, TN
#24: Philadelphia-Camden-Vineland, PA-NJ-DE-MD
#24: York-Hanover-Gettysburg, PA
#24: Parkersburg-Marietta, WV-OH

Most Polluted Cities in America By Short-Term Particle Pollution

#1: Bakersfield-Delano, CA
#2: Fresno-Madera, CA
#3: Pittsburgh-New Castle, PA
#4: Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, CA
#5: Salt Lake City-Ogden-Clearfield, UT
#6: Provo-Orem, UT
#7: Visalia-Porterville, CA
#8: Birmingham-Hoover-Cullman, AL
#9: Logan, UT-ID
#9: Hanford-Corcoran, CA
#9: Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Yuba City, CA
#12: Modesto, CA
#13: Merced, CA
#14: Eugene-Springfield, OR
#15: San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA
#16: Stockton, CA
#17: Chicago-Naperville-Michigan City, IL-IN-WI
#18: Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia, WA
#19: Fairbanks, AK
#20: Philadelphia-Camden-Vineland, PA-NJ-DE-MD
#21: Macon-Warner Robins-Fort Valley, GA
#22: Louisville-Jefferson County-Elizabethtown-Scottsburg, KY-IN
#23: Green Bay, WI
#24: Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ
#24: Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA
#24: San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA
#24: Madison-Baraboo, WIreport 2011
#24: Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL
#24: Wheeling, WV-OH


American Lung Association State of the Air Report 2011
American Lung Association State of the Air

While politicians play with our health in their attempt to deregulate everything in the name of capitalism, we all know how that will turn out from past experience. Don’t let them erase 40 plus years of improvements so they can line their pockets with cash from business interests who don’t care to protect the citizens of this nation. Let us not let the Most Polluted Cities in America List 2011 grow and get worse in the future, instead let’s continue to improve upon it! Peace my friends!

1 comment

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