For all the talk about America's "greening," 60 percent of us still live in areas with dangerously high pollution, according to a new American Lung Association report. Basing their conclusions
on state and local statistics gathered by the Environmental Protection Agency between 2005 and 2007, the ALA study's authors say 186.1 million people are now breathing unhealthy air -- which, in nearly every city, exists at a dangerous level. The study, titled "State of the Air Report," will be released Wednesday.
For the 11th consecutive report, the three cities with the highest levels of ozone pollution are Los Angeles, Long Beach and Riverside. According to the Associated Press, those with the highest short-term particle pollution (soot) are Pittsburgh-New Castle, Fresno-Madera, Bakersfield and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside.
"Six out of 10 Americans right now as we speak," the ALA's Janice E. Nolen told A.P.,
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"live in areas where the air can be dirty enough to send people to the
emergency room, dirty enough to shape how kids' lungs develop and even
dirty enough to kill." Nolen is the group's assistant vice president on
national policy and advocacy.