8 Dirtiest Cities In The US That Are At Big Risk For Diseases

The United States of America may be one of the super powers in the world, but it doesn’t mean that they can control nature or the problems it can bring. No matter how great the place is, how huge the population is, or how eager you are to live the “American Dream”, you will be surprised to know that there are still many places within the state that suffers pollution of dirty air. Yes, believe it or not, there are dirtiest cities in the US too.

These cities were noted through their year-round particle pollution. The particle pollution is a mixture of solid and liquid matters in the air whereas year-round means the annual average representing the level of concentration of particles in day-in and day-out. They are also included on the list of cities that have the highest ozone pollution level and 24 hr particle pollution level, which is the average pollution in a one day period. So, let us get to know which cities in United States are the dirtiest.

Top 8 Dirtiest Cities In The United States

The 8 dirtiest cities in the US listed here are based on the report by American Lung Association.

1. Fresno-Madera, CA

Children with pediatric asthma28,434
Adults with asthma68,326
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease35,216
Cardiovascular disease50,742

 Dirtiest Cities In The US

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Fresno-Madera bags 1st spot as the dirtiest city in the US. It surpasses the other 219 metropolitan areas with regards to the 24-hour particle pollution and the annual particle pollution. It is at the 4th place for high ozone days out with a total population of 1,107,661. Admit it or not, this dirty city is at a big risk for diseases.

2. Bakersfield, CA

Children with pediatric asthma22,704
Adults with asthma52,702
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease26,422
Cardiovascular disease37,419

Dirtiest Cities In The United States

Taking the second place on the list of dirtiest cities in the US is none other than Bakersfield, Southern California. It is near the southern end of San Joaquin Valley. It ranks the 2nd place for 24-hour particle pollution and the annual particle pollution among 220 metropolitan areas. It is also the 3rd for high ozone days out when the same metropolitan areas were tested. The total population is 864,124.

3. Visalia-Porterville-Hanford, CA

Children with pediatric asthma16,507
Adults with asthma36,242
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease18,179
Cardiovascular disease25,830

 dirtiest city in US

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With 605,103 people living in the area, Visalia-Porterville-Hanford ranks 2nd for high ozone days out, and 3rd in both 24-hour particle pollution and annual particle pollution.

4. Modesto-Merced, CA

Children with pediatric asthma19,947
Adults with asthma49,080
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease25,498
Cardiovascular disease36,795

polluted city in US

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Bagging the 4th spot as the dirtiest city for the year-round particle and the 24 hour particle pollution, Modesto-Merced has a population of 788,719. People living here are at a great risk from different diseases and this is all because of its unhealthy environment. It is ranked 8 in high ozone days out.

5. Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA


Children with pediatric asthma394,198
Adults with asthma1,212,911
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease633,625
Cardiovascular disease915,447

Dirtiest Cities In The US

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When you hear Los Angeles Long Beach, the first thing that probably hits your mind is “Long Beach”, where you could laze around but you will be shocked to know that California is ranked 1st for high ozone days out, 5th on annual particle and 24-hour particle pollution. A huge number of people also suffer from asthma. Out of a total population of 18,351,929, about 394,198 cases have been recorded for pediatric asthma and 1,212,911 cases with adult asthma.

6. El Centro, CA

Children with pediatric asthma4,513
Adults with asthma10,926
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease5,688
Cardiovascular disease8,239

 dirtiest city in US

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Being the east anchor of the Southern California Border Region and a largest city of the Imperial Valley, El Centro only has a total population of 176,584. The reason? Well, it ranks 6th for year-round particles, 14th for high ozone days out, and 35th for 24-hour particle pollution. With only a small number of population, there are lots of people that are at high risk for such bad air. There is an increased risk on children and teens as well. With a total population is 176,584, about 50,940 children suffer pediatric asthma, 10,926 have been reported to suffer adult asthma, and 5,688 with COPD.

7. San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA

Children with pediatric asthma165,715
Adults with asthma578,767
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease310,320
Cardiovascular disease453,045

 dirtiest cities in US

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This area is at number 6 for the 24 hour particle pollution, number 7 for annual particle pollution and at number 36 for the high ozone days out. From its total population of 8,469,854, serious medical conditions are increasing in numbers. All these factors actually has made San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland one of the dirtiest cities in the US.

8. Cincinnati-Wilmington-Maysville, OH-KY-IN

Children with pediatric asthma52,177
Adults with asthma161,635
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease144,112
Cardiovascular disease168,306

dirtiest cities in america

Credit: cincinnati

Though this area is the cleanest metropolitan area for the country, few bad features have made it list on the dirtiest cities in United States. When it comes to the 24 hour particle pollution, it still ranks high and for the yearly average of particle pollution, this city is at number 8. It is also at number 23 for high ozone days out. The overall population is 2,196,629.

The above given data is released by the American Lung Association and is of relative importance considering that these pollutions greatly affect our health. When it comes to ozone pollution, it is the most dangerous. It attacks our lungs by chemically reacting with it. From the 2015 data, it is believed that 4 out of 10 people living in United States are in areas with unhealthy levels of ozone. Such people are at high risk for:

  • Premature death
  • Severe asthma
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Low birth weight and
  • Difficulty in breathing

When it comes to the year-round particle pollution that caused the dirtiest cities in the US to become unhealthy living places for its residents, it is of relative importance. We should all work hand in hand to help un-do the damage that we did to the air we breathe every moment. Pollution would have never existed if we humans had not abused nature, nor do things that harmed it. Right now, there are about 24 million people living in such unhealthy conditions all year-round.

If you are exposed to these particles for a long time, say for example, for an entire year, you will have an increased risk of hospitalization due to asthma. Inhaling polluted year all year round will also cause damage to your lungs, which in turn leads to lung cancer. Also, it can even increase your risk of untimely death.

Many of us tend to take our breathing air for granted, thinking that it will always stay there and keep us alive. But have any thoughts crossed your mind of those deadly situations that can happen in the future? Well, if we are not careful now, we might follow suit. Though there are improvements (based on the 2015 reports) on the areas in the East, South and Los Angeles, there are still cities which failed and exceeded the annual particle pollution.

The fight for a clean air and clean city is not only for the residents of a particular area. But rather, it involves all of us, human beings, to take care of the earth that has been gifted to us. The challenge now lies in your hands, and it is up to you to deal with it: ARE YOU BRAVE ENOUGH TO HELP STOP POLLUTION FOR A CLEANER PLACE? Tell us in comments and share the article if you like it.

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