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And The Winner Of The American Lung Association's 'Most Polluted Air In The Country' Goes To... Los Angeles

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(Pollution chart via OC Register)
The 2011 State of the Air report has been released by the American Lung Association and it's enough to make you sick. Literally. The report, ranking U.S. metropolitan areas on ozone, short term particle pollution data, and historic particle pollution data from 2007-2009, places Los Angeles #1 for high ozone days and #4 and #2 in the particle categories.Notes the OC Register:

“Air quality has improved significantly in California compared to the first year of the State of the Air report 11 years ago,” said Bonnie Holmes-Gen, senior policy director for the Lung Assocation. “But air pollution does continue to cause significant illness and death in California.”

The report gives a cough-free shout out to Honolulu, Hawaii and Santa Fe, New Mexico for being the ONLY two cities to make all three "clean lists" while taking aim at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, saying the "EPA should further reduce power-plant emissions, strengthen standards for ozone and particle pollution, and set new tailpipe emissions standards for cars and light trucks," notes the OC Register.

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Key Findings:

"Roughly half the people (50.3%) in the United States live in counties that have unhealthful levels of either ozone or particle pollution...The strongest improvement came in reducing ozone smog levels across the nation...All but two of the 25 cities most polluted by year-round levels of particle pollution (sometimes called soot) improved over last year’s report. Nineteen of those cities reported their best-ever particle pollution levels."

How's the air where you are? Enter your zip code, and inhale with caution.