Take a deep breath before reading this bad news — or don't. Dallas-Fort Worth was recently identified as the most polluted Texas city in terms of ozone, and the 11th worst in the entire country.
The American Lung Association looked at data from 2012-2014 to compile its State of the Air 2016 report. It separates cities and metropolitan areas into three pollution categories: ozone, year-round particle pollution, and short-term particle pollution. DFW ranks No. 11 out of 197 metropolitan areas for high ozone days, and its other stats aren't too great either.
We are ranked 53 out of 94 for 24-hour particle pollution and 33 out of 171 for annual particle pollution. Houston, meanwhile, shows up at No. 15 on the ozone list.
The air in Los Angeles is the worst for ozone, and Bakersfield, California, has the highest recorded levels of both particle pollutant types. Burlington, Vermont; Elmira-Corning, New York; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Salinas, California, are the cleanest, without a single day of unhealthy ozone levels.
The ALA does note, however, that ozone and particle pollution levels have improved overall from last year. Cleaner power plants and increased use of cleaner vehicles and engines have helped greatly, but "a changing climate is making it harder to protect human health."
This comes right after the news that Texas definitely didn't make the cut on WalletHub's list of greenest states. But it is Earth Day, so try to do what you can today — and every day — to help clean up the planet.
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