2018-08-09 18:02:36 UTC
The worst air quality in the United States is in California, a state
known for its efforts to raise environmental standards, cut greenhouse
gas emissions, and combat climate change.
California has the highest ozone levels of any state, according to the
American Lung Association's "State of the Air 2017" report on air
pollution, which analyzed counties across the country based on levels
of ozone and particle pollution.
The situation in California is steadily improving, but the state still
lags behind the rest of the nation.
Three California counties Los Angeles-Long Beach, Bakersfield and
Fresno-Madera had the worst smog levels in the entire country. More
than 90 percent of California residents live in counties with
unhealthy air, according to the American Lung Association.
Nationwide, the report found nearly four in ten Americans live where
pollution levels are often dangerous to breathe. But overall, the
number of Americans exposed to unhealthy levels of air pollution
dropped to about 125 million people, down from 166 million in last
year's report (which covered the period from 2012-2014).
Air pollution can cause asthma attacks, heart attacks, lung cancer,
reproductive harm and premature death. Globally, the World Health
Organization says 3 million people die prematurely each year from
breathing polluted air, and children are especially at risk.