Even as we all become more environmentally conscious, we often pay little mind to the air we’re breathing.
Turns out, a state famed for its outdoorsy citizens and breathtaking natural features has the very worst air quality of all.
The American Lung Association assessed air quality across the country by analysing the amount of ozone in the air, the short-term particle pollution, and the amount of particle pollution evident in the area year-round.
Publication Eat This, Not That aggregated the findings by counting the number of times places in the states appeared on those three lists.
Turns out, California is the most polluted state in America.
Californian cities occupied 27 of the top 75 most polluted cities nationwide.
Arizona is the second most polluted state, the researchers found, while Texas and Oregon occupied the third and fourth spots respectively. Alaska took fifth spot, and ranked first in terms of the amount of particle pollution in the air.
The findings come a day after Earth Day, an annual event demonstrating support for environmental protection.
US president Joe Biden promised to cut US emissions in half at a summit connected to the event yesterday - a tall order perhaps, given the country is the second biggest emitter of greenhouse gases annually, second to China.
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Across the pond in the UK, Boris Johnson made similar commitments - but was not taken seriously after he wasted time talking about “bunny huggers”, much to Greta Thunberg’s apparent amusement.
The other states included in the top 10 polluting localities were, in order, Pennsylvania, Utah, Ohio, Washington and Colorado.
The annual report also found that four in ten Americans live in places with unhealthy level of pollution and that ethnic minorities are disproportionately affected.
“Los Angeles remains the city with the worst ozone pollution in the nation, as it has for all but one of the 22 years tracked by the “State of the Air” report,” the report also added.
Suddenly those Hollywood hikes don’t sound as appealing...