Air Quality is Getting Worse — Especially in California

U.S. air quality is getting worse and California is bearing the brunt of it.

An annual report from the American Lung Association says California is home to six of the ten worst counties for pollution nationwide. The same analysis found that nearly half of all Americans are living in counties with unhealthy air. Eight cities, many of them in California, experienced their worst air quality levels ever last year.

The study’s authors say climate change is responsible for the worsening conditions. The last three years have been the hottest on record, contributing to wildfires and other air quality destroyers.

America’s worst cities for ozone pollution (smog) are Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA; Visalia, CA; Bakersfield, CA; Fresno-Madera-Hanford, CA; Sacramento-Roseville, CA; San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA; Phoenix-Mesa, AZ; San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA; Houston-The Woodlands, TX; and New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA. The cities with the worst year round particle pollution are Fresno-Madera-Hanford and Bakersfield. Thirty-two out of 58 California counties received F grades for ozone pollution and 28 received F grades for particle pollution levels.

Salinas was the only California locale to make the cleanest cities list at all, coming in at #17 for year round particle pollution.

Read the full report here