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Where Can I Go to Breathe Clean Air?

California is famous for its beaches, sunshine, and being the home of Hollywood, but it's going to take a lot more than movie magic to remove one of the state's big downsides: air pollution. According to a recent study by the American Lung Association, the "Golden State" is tarnished with the six smoggiest cities in the country, based on ozone content. The Los Angeles area tops the list, and the American Lung Association reported that the air quality there had worsened from a year earlier, when it was also at the top of the rankings. Los Angeles is followed by Visalia, Bakersfield, the Fresno-Madera-Hanford area, Sacramento-Roseville, and the San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad area. The San Francisco-San Jose area, which ranks eighth, gives California seven of the top 10 spots. The American Lung Association said that climate change is largely to blame for the fact that more than four of every 10 Americans live in an area with an unhealthy level of air pollution.

On the other end of the spectrum, six U.S. cities earned the distinction of having the "cleanest" air in the country: Bangor, Maine; Burlington, Vermont; Honolulu, Hawaii; Lincoln-Beatrice, Nebraska; Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida; and Wilmington, North Carolina.

Something in the air:

  • Air pollution can make a person look older, as it can contain up to 200 chemicals that age the skin.

  • Air pollution is linked to one out of every eight deaths in the world, such as those caused by lung cancer and respiratory disease.

  • More than nine out of every 10 people in the world live in an area with poor air quality.

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More Info: American Lung Association

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