NewsCovering Kern County


Report: Bakersfield ranks high on list of most polluted U.S. cities

Second most ozone-polluted city
Posted at 5:35 AM, Apr 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-18 10:28:03-04

As air quality continues to be an issue in Bakersfield, the American Lung Association released their annual State of the Air report, ranking the most polluted cities.

Record heat in 2014 and 2016 is to blame for worsened ozone pollution found in this year's report. Bakersfield ranked high in three separate studies.

The American Lung Association says this pollution, smog and soot, can cause health problems like asthma attacks, lung cancer, heart attacks, and even premature death.

The report ranked cities nationwide based on pollution levels by ozone and short-term and year round particle pollution.

Bakersfield came in as number one in the national ranking for short-term pollution and third for year round pollution. 

RELATED: Special Report: The History of South Valley Air Quality

Bakersfield snagged the number two spot for ozone pollution with Los Angeles ranking first.

The American Lung Association says ozone levels are as bad as ever and that record heat is to blame. 2017 was the second warmest year on record in the United States.

RELATED: Visibly bad air in Bakersfield unhealthy for everyone

The report notes that 90 percent of Californians live in cities and counties that have unhealthy air at some point during the year. Nationwide, that number is around 40 percent.

The ALA suggests the following for lowering pollution in your community:

  • Use less electricity. Generating electricity is one of the biggest sources of pollution, particularly in the eastern United States.
  • Don't burn wood or trash. Burning firewood and trash is among the largest sources of particle pollution in many parts of the country. If you must use a fireplace or stove for heat, convert your woodstove to natural gas, which has far fewer polluting emissions.
  • Make sure your local school system requires clean school buses. Make sure your local schools don't idle their buses, a step that can immediately reduce emissions.

RELATED: Bad air quality prompts schools to keep kids indoors

View the full report here.