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Are You One of the 175 Million Americans Living in Areas with Dangerous Levels of Air Pollution?

Are You One of the 175 Million Americans Living in Areas with Dangerous Levels of Air Pollution?

The American Lung Association released its State of the Air 2010 report the week of April 30th, 2010. One of the most alarming findings of the report is that 6 out of 10 Americans live in places where air pollution often reaches dangerous levels.

Researchers examined levels of fine particulate matter in the air over a 24 hour period and calculated the average over the entire year.

They found that the area surrounding Los Angeles had the worst overall pollution in the nation. Bakersfield, California had the worst short term levels of particle pollution and Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale in Arizona had the worst year round air pollution.

If you want to live in one of the cleanest cities in the country, you may need to move to North Dakota. Two of the top 3 cleanest cities were Fargo, N.D. and Wahpeton, N.D. The city of Lincoln in Nebraska also made the top of the list.

With 175 million Americans living in areas with dangerous levels of pollution, experts say there needs to be an increase in efforts aimed at reducing air pollution.

Air pollution is harmful because it causes oxidative damage and inflammation which can destroy cell membranes, DNA and proteins. Studies have linked air pollution to a variety of heart and lung diseases, as well as respiratory disorders.

One way to potentially offset the negative effects of air pollution is by consuming more antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods and supplements, which may help to reduce oxidative stress.

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