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Not Exactly a Blue Ribbon Moment: LA's Air Most Toxic in Nation

Photo by Gary Winterboer via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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We're number one! But if you're gearing up to start cheering, don't hold your breath. In fact, you might want to reconsider breathing in at all. Why? Because according to the Environmental Protection Agency, we have the most toxic air in the country, reports cbs2.

The National-Scale Air Toxics Assessment is a report that ranks counties based on the risk of cancer by looking at the "levels of 80 cancer-causing substances released by automobiles, factories and other sources" and "predicts the concentrations of 124 different hazardous air pollutants, which are known to cause cancer, respiratory problems and other health effects by coupling estimates of emissions from a variety of sources with models that attempt to simulate how the pollution will disperse in the air."

Nationwide, the average risk of cancer is 36 in 1 million, which, although represents a decline from the last analysis conducted in 2006, there are still several parts of the country where the risk is dramatically higher. Places like, well, here. "Parts of Los Angeles, Calif., and Madison County, Ill., had the highest cancer risks in the nation --1200 in 1 million and 1100 in 1 million, according to the EPA data." And don't think you're off the hook if you're a neighbor to the south of LA; Orange County's risk is 628 in 1 million.