Navigation Links
Report: California Cities Have Worst Air Pollution in U.S.
Date:4/27/2011

By Jenifer Goodwin
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- About 154 million Americans -- or more than half the U.S. population -- live in areas where the air is so polluted that it is often dangerous to breathe, a new report says.

Residents of Honolulu and Santa Fe-Espanola, N.M., on the other hand, are in luck: Those two cities had air that is among the country's cleanest -- and they were the only two in the nation that had no days in which smog and soot levels reached unhealthy ranges.

In contrast, residents of California, which is famed for its healthful lifestyle, are breathing some of the worst air.

California cities topped the list of U.S. cities with the worst air pollution, according to "State of the Air 2011," the American Lung Association's annual report on air quality, which was released April 27.

And about 48 percent of U.S. residents live in counties where smog (ozone) is too high, 20 percent live in areas where there are too many short-term spikes in pollution and 6 percent live in areas with harmful year-round soot (particle pollution).

About 17 million Americans live in areas afflicted by all three air pollution hazards.

This worries scientists since research suggests air pollution threatens human health -- and not just the lungs.

On days in which smog levels spike, there's an increase in hospital admissions for respiratory illnesses, heart attacks and stroke in the two or three days following it, said Michael Jerrett, a professor of environmental health sciences at University of California, Berkeley's School of Public Health.

Besides posing both long-term and short-term risks, pollution can contribute to low birth weights, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke and, ultimately, shorter life spans, he warned.

This is due, in part, to insidious changes caused by chronic exposure to pollution. According to Dr. Norman Edelman, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association, small particles of pollution can lodge deep in the lungs, triggering an inflammatory process that, over time, can spread elsewhere in the body and damage blood vessels and the heart.

The report found that the cities with the worst air include: Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside; Bakersfield-Delano; Visalia-Porterville; Fresno-Madera; Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Yuba City (Calif.-Nev.); Hanford-Corcoran; San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos; and Merced -- all of which are in California with the exception of one county just across the border in Nevada.

Rounding out the top 10 list for smog is Houston-Baytown-Huntsville, Texas and Charlotte-Gastonia-Salisbury, N.C.-S.C.

Many of those same places show up on the top 10 list for year-round soot. That list includes: Bakersfield-Delano; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside; Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz.; Visalia-Porterville; Hanford-Corcoran; Fresno-Madera; Pittsburgh-New Castle, Pa.; Birmingham-Hoover-Cullman, Ala.; Cincinnati-Middletown-Wilmington, Ohio-Ky.-Ind.; and Louisville-Jefferson County-Elizabethtown-Scottsburg, Ky.-Ind.

But there is some good news, said Janice Nolen, director of national policy for the American Lung Association. The majority of cities with polluted air have actually improved. Nolen credited the Clean Air Act, which, since its passage more than 40 years ago, has forced car and diesel truck manufacturers and coal-fired power plants, among others, to reduce emissions.

"The 'State of the Air 2011' finds the Clean Air Act is working. All metro areas on the list of the 25 cities most polluted by ozone showed improvement over the previous report, and 15 of those cities experienced their best year yet," Nolen said. "All but two of the 25 cities most polluted with year-round particle pollution improved over last year's report."

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the Clean Air Act saved 160,000 lives in 2010 alone.

"We are trying to remind folks that the Clean Air Act has saved hundreds of thousands of lives," Nolen said. "Without the clean up, we would have a lot more pollution and a lot more disease and dying. We are very concerned about efforts to roll it back."

Although some attack the Clean Air Act as unnecessary, experts disagree. Jerrett explained that the research linking pollution to death and disease comes from animal experiments, human volunteers who go into pollution chambers where physiologic response is measured, changes in cell cultures when cells are exposed to pollution "and quite a few epidemiological studies."

"The body of evidence is large enough that if it's not fully evidence of causality, it's certainly strongly suggestive that pollution affects health in many adverse ways," Jerrett added.

Why does California, with its history of tough regulation, have such a pollution problem? It's a combination of factors, according to Jerrett. The state has lots of sources of emissions, including burgeoning car and truck traffic, major ports, oil refineries, wood and agricultural burning, and residential heating and cooling.

In areas such as Los Angeles, prevailing wind patterns and mountain ranges trap polluted air that's then baked in the sunshine, leading to the formation of smog.

The "State of the Air 2011" report uses state and local data reported to the EPA in 2007 to 2009. Measurements include ozone, year-round particle pollution and short-term pollution spikes.

More information

The State of the Air 2011 report is available here.

SOURCES: Norman Edelman, M.D., chief medical officer, American Lung Association; Janice Nolen, director, national policy, American Lung Association; Michael Jerrett, Ph.D., professor, environmental health sciences, University of California, Berkeley; April 27, 2011, "State of the Air 2011," American Lung Association report


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. New Report: The Internet Has More Influence Over Consumer Health Actions than Traditional DTC Channels
2. Minnesota Department of Health Report: Nearly 6,000 Hospitalizations for COPD in 2007
3. New Report: $1 Cigarette Tax Increase Would Raise $418.8 Million for Texas and Cut Youth Smoking
4. New Report: $1 Cigarette Tax Increase Would Raise $18.6 Million for Montana and Cut Youth Smoking
5. New Report: $1 Cigarette Tax Increase Would Raise $24.8 Million for Wyoming and Cut Youth Smoking
6. New Report: $1 Cigarette Tax Increase Would Raise $43.3 Million for Utah and Cut Youth Smoking
7. New Report: $1 Cigarette Tax Increase Would Raise $113.9 Million for Colorado and Cut Youth Smoking
8. New Report: $1 Cigarette Tax Increase Would Raise $65.3 Million for Iowa and Cut Youth Smoking
9. American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report: Study Finds Racial Gaps Continue in Heart Disease Awareness, Low Knowledge of Heart Attack Warning Signs Among Women
10. Pew Report: California Off Track in Providing Children with Dental Health Care They Need
11. Pew Report: Colorado on Track in Providing Children with Dental Health Care They Need
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Report: California Cities Have Worst Air Pollution in U.S.
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 26, 2017 , ... Rob Lowe acts as ... production of the series is on hiking in American. Viewers can reconnect with America ... great benefits of hiking. , Many consumers have looked for an inventive new place ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 26, 2017 , ... “THE FLINTHILLS FAMILY-Our Journey to the Cross”: the personal journey of ... Cross” is the creation of published authors, Bob and Margaret Massey. Bob Massey is ... is "panther quick and leather tough." His love for others is apparent in all ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... ... Jack: Against All Odds”: the story of Coach Cactus Jack and the impact he ... creation of published author, Walter Hubbard, a retired wildlife and fisheries biologist and pharmacy ... Walter and Jane have three adult children and a granddaughter. Walter and ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... In ... choosing the most appropriate instruments for research and understanding the basic principles that ... webinar will focus on innovations in stereo microscopy for brightfield and fluorescence typically ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... California (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2017 , ... ... through innovative medical image management and interpretation, has received U.S. Food and Drug ... , Nucleus.io is a web-based, scalable and secure cloud platform for medical image ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/15/2017)... Inc., a privately-held CNS pharmaceutical company based in ... disease (PD), has enrolled the first patient in the RASMET ... study involving patients with PD and taking place at 12 ... period. The first stage is open label and involves single ... Denver , Boca Raton ...
(Date:5/10/2017)... Global Health Intelligence (GHI), the leading healthcare data analytics ... 2017 ranking of the Best-Equipped Hospitals in Latin America ... GHI,s hospitals database for Latin America , which is ... database covers 86% of the hospitals in Latin ... each institution in key areas such as beds, medical specialties, ...
(Date:5/9/2017)... -- Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE and SIX: ZBH), ... has earned a spot on Forbes, "America,s ... ranked among 500 U.S. employers as well as in ... Services. The annual Forbes rankings ... of over 30,000 employees across 25 industries. The survey ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: