Show: May 10, 2009:
Did You Know?: 2009 Air Pollution Report
Yes, according to the 2009 State of the Air report released by the American Lung Association, many of us live in communities where the air can make us sick. The study tested the air in hundreds of sites across the country and handed out grades.
The most air polluted city in the United States? That would be a near-tie between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Bakersfield, California, whose air topped the charts with high levels of soot, dust, ash and aerosols. Not surprisingly, Los Angeles was most polluted when it came to ozone levels, which contributes to smog.
What is surprising is that some cities we tend to think of as being relatively clean and healthy got failing marks. Salt Lake City, for example, ranked sixth for short-term particle pollution.
The takeaway point, the researchers say, is that our air is more polluted than we may think. And that breathing contaminated air can have real health consequences, such as asthma and even heart disease.
And now you know.