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U.S. Cities With Low Air Quality

  • Air Quality Facts
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You might think you're practicing a healthy habit by taking your daily morning walk around your neighborhood or city. But what you might not realize is the level of air pollution could cause some health concerns. Some of the most beautiful places in the U.S. are also some of the most polluted, and they could be more dangerous than you once thought. See if your city makes the list of the most polluted cities in the country.

The large number of cars on the road contributes to low air quality.The large number of cars on the road contributes to low air quality.

Los Angeles, CA
While Los Angeles may be known for its consistently beautiful weather and famous residents, it's also the No. 1 U.S. city with the worst air quality, according to the 2014 State of the Air report conducted by the American Lung Association. It earned the top spot for the highest ozone out of 277 metropolitan areas, and ranked four for 24-hour particle pollution. The blame can be placed on a number of factors, including the frequent sun, high temperatures and overpopulation.

"Hazy smog fills the air in Houston."

Houston, TX
Everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes the threat of poor air quality. Houston is another U.S. city that ranks high on the 2014 State of the Air report. It's sixth on the list for ozone, and the hazy smog that fills the air is thick and damaging to residents. The high traffic area, combined with the stagnant heat and extreme sun, contribute to the low air quality in this city - not to mention the numerous power plants and refineries that pump pollution into the air.

Las Vegas, NV
When you consider the high traffic aspect of Sin City, as well as the desert-like conditions, it's understandable why Las Vegas would be another U.S. city to rank high on the report. It comes in at 10 on the list of cities with the greatest ozone, or smog. The city is surrounded by mountains, which act as a trap that contains all of the pollution and pushes it back down to the ground. 

Pittsburgh, PA
It's not just the south and west of the country that have high levels of air pollution. Pittsburgh came in sixth place for annual particle pollution according to the State of the Air report. The large number of coal-burning power plants, in addition to the overpopulation of residents in the area make the air quality worse than other U.S. regions.