Top Polluted U.S. Cities With the Worst Air

And while ozone in most cities nationwide have been improving -- by either decreasing or leveling off -- that's not the case in Las Vegas and Dallas, two places where ozone levels have been on the rise over the last decade.

Air Pollution a Complex Problem

While it's worthwhile to learn how your community fared in the report, it might not always reveal the extent of the problem.

"Air pollutants are not just generated locally," pointed out Jonathan Levy, an associate professor of environmental health at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, who is not connected to the American Lung Association report.

"These are complicated pollutants that are hard to wrestle down, and they're not always a local phenomenon, "said Levy. In other words, he explained, the city you live in might not emit lots of pollutants, but sometimes you are just unlucky enough to live downwind from a place that does and people are exposed to high levels.

Weather patterns, for example, affect where pollution ends up and can push it away from its original source.

But no matter where you live, you can take steps to ease pollution. The experts encourage you to drive less and use mass transportation more, as well as using less electricity in your home.

To check the air quality in your city or community, visit www.stateoftheair.org or -------

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