According to the latest study, our nation’s breathable air is a rare thing to enjoy. And Californians are living in an area with such high levels of contamination, that they might have a moment of shock when they breath fresh, unpolluted air for the first time.
The Air State Report made by the Lung Association of America revealed the most polluted cities in the United States. And judging by the results, our nation’s breathable air is as rare as the ozone layer.
The most polluted area in the country is Bakersfield. Diesel trucks, highway traffic, fireplaces, and farm equipment all spew massive amounts of airborne pollution particles that are affecting the health of the city’s inhabitants.
Even though Bakersfield is the most polluted area in the country, it’s not also the leading polluter. This title goes to Los Angeles that continues to poke holes in the ozone layer with the smog emitted by car tailpipes.
Moreover, it seems that 32 million Californians, that means roughly 8 out of 10 individuals, live in areas that have seriously unhealthy particles or ozone pollution.
But there was a city that managed to record zero pollution days throughout the previous year, and that was Salinas, a small California community. Other pollution-free areas in the United States are Vermont’s Burlington, New York’s Elmira, and Hawaii’s Honolulu.
According to the Lung Association of America, Salinas may have been spared of any polluted days last year because it has the advantage of coastal breezes that clean the air a little.
Furthermore, the cities of Sacramento, El Centro, and Visalia reported fewer days in which the levels of ozone were unhealthy as opposed to the 2004 report.
Even though the city’s authorities and inhabitants are trying to go a little bit greener, Los Angeles remains the main polluter in the United States. According to the report, the City of Angeles recorded fewer levels of pollution last year than in any others, so it seems that the efforts of going green were paid off, on a certain level.
Unfortunately, a couple of communities in Central Valley and Bakersfield are fighting nature itself. The topography of the cities, which is in the shape of a bowl, is hemmed by mountains. This leads to high temperatures and drought that make the air stagnant, increasing its levels of un-breathability.
There were hundreds of billions spent last year by private and public investors to increase our nation’s breathable air.
Image source: Geograph
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