The cleanest air in the U.S., as measured by the American Lung Association’s State of The Air Report 2013, is in Prescott, Arizona. Specifically, Prescott’s air is the cleanest metropolitan air in a 24 hour period for particulate pollution.
Particulate Pollution Explained
“Particulate matter,” also known as particle pollution or PM, is a complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets. Particle pollution is made up of a number of components, including acids (such as nitrates and sulfates), organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust particles.
The size of particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems. EPA is concerned about particles that are 10 micrometers in diameter or smaller because those are the particles that generally pass through the throat and nose and enter the lungs. Once inhaled, these particles can affect the heart and lungs and cause serious health effects. EPA groups particle pollution into two categories:
- “Inhalable coarse particles,” such as those found near roadways and dusty industries, are larger than 2.5 micrometers and smaller than 10micrometers in diameter.
- “Fine particles,” such as those found in smoke and haze, are 2.5 micrometers in diameter and smaller. These particles can be directly emitted from sources such as forest fires, or they can form when gases emitted from power plants, industries and automobiles react in the air.
- READ MORE on EPA.gov site.
The American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through Education, Advocacy and Research. With the generous support of the public, we are “Fighting for Air.” When you join the American Lung Association in the fight for healthy lungs and healthy air, you help save lives today and keep America healthy tomorrow. READ MORE