California Has 8 Of 10 Most Polluted U.S. Cities

California is known for many things and sadly, air pollution is one of them. According to the American Lung Association's annual list of smoggiest cities in the U.S., eight of the top ten are in California. Phoenix and New York City round out the top ten. 

The Los Angeles-Long Beach area takes the top spot for worst air pollution, as it has for the nearly 19 years the report has been issued. Bakersfield is a close second, while Visalia, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego and Modesto are also on the list.  Los Angeles ranked #1 for high ozone days out of 227 metropolitan areas according to the report. 

Pheonix comes in at number eight, just ahead of Redding, California and New York City. 

Of course, if you're looking for a cleaner way of living, you may want to check out Anchorage, Alaska. They tied for 1st on cleanest metropolitan areas in the country for Ozone with Bangor, ME. Although, Bangor seems to be the better choice overall - it was also tied for 1st for cleanest metropolitan areas in the country for 24-hour particle pollution. 

Researchers determined their results based on data available from official monitoring sites that measure particle pollution across the United States. Ozone-pollution spiked dramatically over the years, which experts say pose a number of health risks. 

The American Lung Association says up to 133-million Americans (more than 40 percent of the nation's population) live in areas where pollution puts them at a risk for premature death and serious health risks. 

Photo: Getty Images

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