Take a deep breath. Do you sense that cool, crisp air filling your lungs? Now breathe out because, up until recently, the air in the Bay Area was considered among the most polluted in the Unites States.

The American Lung Association’s State of the Air report, which ranks U.S. cities on ozone and particle pollution aka smog, has found that the quality of our air has improved. And now we are no longer on the list of the 25 most polluted cities.

On the other hand, which city is among the worst offenders? You guessed it – Los Angeles, which might as well be called “Smogangeles”. Two of the cleanest cities are in New Mexico (Albuquerque and Santa Fe) while Ames, Iowa ranks the best in terms of ozone pollution. What do these cities with wonderfully fresh, clean air all have in common? No one wants to move there. Maybe that’s why they’re so unpolluted.

According to the SF Chronicle, “The report, which has been issued every year since 2000, has regularly shown California air to be among the most polluted in the United States, mainly because the warm, dry climate tends to trap smog, especially in Southern California and in the Central Valley.”

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