The American Lung Association has released its 2008 "State of the Air" report, a city-by-city report card on air quality and pollution across the U.S.
The ALA's 2008 "State of the Air" report ranks cities according to prevalence of three types of air pollution: short-term particles, year-round particles, and ozone. For the first time, a city outside of California has topped one of the three ranking lists. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ranked worst in terms of short-term particle pollution, which an ALA Press Release describes as "a deadly cocktail of ash, soot, diesel exhaust, chemicals, metals and aerosols that can spike dangerously for hours to weeks on end." The Associated Press reports that the eight metro areas with the worst air pollution were Los Angeles (CA), Bakersfield (CA), Fresno (CA), Visalia-Porterfield (CA), Hanford-Corcoran (CA), Washington D.C.-Baltimore, St. Louis (MO), and Birmingham (AL).