Best & Worst Cities for Ozone Pollution

Best and Worst Cities For Ozone Pollution Infographic

This information has been reviewed and approved by Anthony Gerber, MD, PhD (June 2022).


Summary: Best and Worst Cities for Ozone Pollution

Cleanest Cities by Ozone

  1. Altoona-Huntingdon, PA
  2. Bangor, ME
  3. Bismarck, ND
  4. Blacksburg-Christiansburg, VA
  5. Bowling Green-Glasgow, KY
  6. Brownsville-Harlingen-Raymondville, TX
  7. Brunswick, GA
  8. Burlington-South Burlington-Barre, VT
  9. Charlottesville, VA
  10. Cheyenne, WY
  11. Clarksville, TN-KY
  12. Columbus-Auburn-Opelika, GA-AL
  13. Corpus Christi-Kingsville-Alice, TX
  14. Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL
  15. Duluth, MN-WI
  16. Elmira-Corning, NY
  17. Erie-Meadville, PA
  18. Eugene-Springfield, OR
  19. Fairbanks, AK
  20. Fargo-Wahpeton, ND-MN
  21. Fayetteville-Sanford-Lumberton, NC
  22. Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR
  23. Florence, SC
  24. Fort Smith, AR-OK
  25. Gadsden, AL

Worst Cities for Ozone      

  1. Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA
  2. Bakersfield, CA
  3. Visalia, CA
  4. Fresno-Madera-Hanford, CA
  5. Phoenix-Mesa, AZ
  6. San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA
  7. Denver-Aurora, CO
  8. Houston-The Woodlands, TX
  9. Sacramento-Roseville, CA
  10. Salt Lake City-Provo-Orem, UT
  11. Las Vegas-Henderson, NV
  12. El Paso-Las Cruces, TX-NM
  13. San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA
  14. New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA
  15. El Centro, CA
  16. Chicago-Naperville, IL-IN-WI
  17. Dallas-Fort Worth, TX-OK
  18. Fort Collins, CO
  19. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, CA
  20. Chico, CA
  21. Reno-Carson City-Fernley, NV
  22. Albuquerque-Santa Fe-Las Vegas, NM
  23. Redding-Red Bluff, CA
  24. Detroit-Warren-Ann Arbor, MI
  25. San Antonio-New Braunfels-Pearsall, TX
Source: American Lung Association 2022


What is Ozone Pollution?

Bad or ground-level ozone pollution is created when vehicle and other emissions mix with pollutants and are heated by the sun. Warmer weather increases ground-level ozone pollution.

What Makes Air Quality Unhealthy?

The Air Quality Index (AQI) grades air quality based on ground-level ozone, particle pollution, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide or nitrogen dioxide levels. Visit or watch local alerts.

Protect Your Lungs from Ozone Pollution

  • Watch local air quality advisories.
  • Ozone levels are always lower in the morning, so plan outdoor activities accordingly.
  • The elderly, the very young and those with lung disease are at the highest risk from severe ozone pollution and should limit afternoon outdoor time during poor ozone days
  • Keep windows closed.
  • Take medications exactly as prescribed.
  • Use the circulate setting on your home thermostat to keep polluted air out.
  • Call your doctor if symptoms increase or if you need more medication.

Facemasks are highly encouraged to limit COVID-19 infection but provide no protection against ozone pollution.


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