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Bakersfield again ranks among places with worst air in the nation

FILE - Smog is seen over Bakersfield, Calif., in a KBAK/KBFX file photo.

Bakersfield again ranks among the regions with the worst air quality in the nation.

The American Lung Association’s State of the Air 2018 report, released Wednesday, shows Bakersfield:

  • worst in the nation for short-term particle pollition (also known as soot),
  • third-worst for year-round particle pollution
  • and second-worst in ozone (smog).


MORE | Full rankings of most polluted cities

This year's rankings mirror last year's rankings.

All counties in the San Joaquin Valley received failing grades, the American Lung Association said.

The 2018 report was compiled with data collected between 2014 and 2016, so the wildfires from last year weren't a factor. The American Lung Association did blame warmer temperatures and and other "climate-driven events" for impacting local air quality.

“Federal and state policies like the Clean Air Act and strong California clean car standards are working. We are improving air quality, but the impacts of climate change are interfering with progress,” Bonnie Holmes-Gen, senior director of Air Quality and Climate Change for the American Lung Association in California, said in a news release. “The reality is California still has unhealthy levels of air pollution in large areas of the state, which puts Californians at risk for premature death and other serious health effects such as asthma, COPD and lung cancer. We must continue the life-saving work of cutting air pollution and slowing climate change.”

The silver lining: The American Lung Association said Bakersfield saw fewer unhealthy air days than last year’s report.

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