The report, commissioned by the American Heart and Lung association, found that 186.1 million people, more than half the US population, live and breathe in areas with dangerously high levels of air pollution. The rest of California did not fare so well either; the report found that the number of estimated premature deaths due to poor air quality, particulate matter specifically, has tripled. It is not surprising that three other metropolitan areas in California — Bakersfield, Visalia-Porterville, Fresno-Madera — rank among the nation's dirtiest.
To see the American cities that have the cleanest air, read more.
Made famous by the Cohen brothers movie, Fargo, North Dakota should also be famous for its great air quality. It is the only city to pass all three air pollution tests: ozone pollution, year-round particle pollution, and short-term (24-hour) particle pollution. Other cities to rank high in at least two out of the three tests are: Billings, MT; Cheyenne, WY; Colorado Springs, CO; and Honolulu, HI. You can check the state of your state's air quality at the State of the Air web site. How did your state rank?