Las Vegas Sun

October 30, 2014

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Report places Las Vegas among nation’s most polluted cities

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ETHAN MILLER / LAS VEGAS SUN

An airplane takes off from McCarran International Airport as hotel-casinos on the Strip are partially shrouded in haze in this Sun file photo from 2001.

10 U.S. metropolitan areas with the worst air pollution

  • 1. Los Angeles-Long Beach, Calif.
  • 2. Visalia-Porterville-Hanford, Calif.
  • 3. Bakersfield, Calif.
  • 4. Fresno-Madera, Calif.
  • 5. Sacramento-Roseville, Calif.
  • 6. Houston-The Woodlands, Texas
  • 7. Modesto-Merced, Calif.
  • 8. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas-Okla.
  • 9. Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, D.C.-Md.-Va.-W.Va.
  • 10. Las Vegas-Henderson, Nev.-Ariz.
  • American Lung Association 'State of the Air' report, 2014

Add a less-than-desirable ranking to Las Vegas’ portfolio: A top-10 ranking among the most polluted cities in the United States.

The American Lung Association in its annual “State of the Air” report, released today, gave Las Vegas-Henderson a failing grade and ranked it as the 10th worst among 277 metropolitan areas in the country for ozone pollution.

The report found that while the valley’s high-ozone days had fallen significantly since 1996, the 19.7 high-ozone days measured were well above the “safe” standard of four days annually.

Los Angeles-Long Beach, with 121.8 high-ozone days, topped the list for the nation’s worst pollution. In all, six California metropolitan areas were in the top 10.

The report said half of Americans live in counties where ozone or particle pollutions levels make the air unhealthy to breathe.

The 15th annual national report card said while the nation overall continued to reduce particle pollution, poor air quality remains a significant public health concern. The report said ozone levels were much worse than in its 2013 report.

Those most at-risk from ozone pollution are infants, children, teenagers and older adults; anyone with lung diseases like asthma or COPD; and people with heart disease or diabetes.

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