American Lung Association Ranks Sacramento 5th In Most Ozone-Polluted Cities Report

American Lung Association Ranks Sacramento 5th In Most Ozone-Polluted Cities Report

Massachusetts' air quality has worsened over the past couple of years, according to a new report released Wednesday.

Carrie Nyssen with the American Lung Association said the country has seen a lot of progress over the years, but climate change is now proving a problem.

They say four in 10 Americans live in counties that have air with unhealthy levels of "particle pollution" or ozone.

Kern County was No. 2 for most polluted by year-round particle pollution and was the No. 3 most ozone polluted city.

The annual State of the Air report, now in its 20th year, used data from 2015 to 2017, the most current quality-assured data available.

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Tuolumne County had just over 28 "high ozone days" previous year where the pollution was over the healthy limit, and Calaveras County registered almost 18 days. Los Angeles-Long Beach topped the list, while the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland area came in eighth.

"This increase in unhealthy air is eye-opening, and points to the reality that the nation must do more to protect the public from serious, even life-threatening harm", American Lung Association President Harold Wimmer said in a statement. The area also ended up at No. 17 for "short-term particle pollution". Dukes, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester counties all received C's and D's, lower grades than a year ago.

"As climate change continues, cleaning up these pollutants will become ever more challenging". St. George, meanwhile, lands on the list of cities with the cleanest air.

From 2017 to 2018, Phoenix moved from 20th to 13th nationwide for 24-hour particle pollution and from 50th to 32nd for year-round particle pollution. Beyond the Valley's problematic topography - a bowl surrounded by mountain ranges that traps pollution in - he highlighted transportation-related pollution sources, including from major highways and railways.

Bangor, Maine, and the Burlington-South Burlington area in Vermont were named by the association as two of the six cleanest-air cities in the country.

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