We are so used to our day to day lives in a fast-paced society that we most often overlook important aspects that impact our life quality. Aspects such as clean water, clean air, and green areas, provide us with a sense of freshness and it gives you a feel-good vibe throughout your week.
It is proven that a clean environment enhances performance and it stimulates your brain. A clean environment reduces stress levels and makes people less anxious. Therefore, the high levels of happiness along with mental well-being are associated with a clean environment.
One of the most overlooked aspects of our lives is probably the air quality. We enjoy so much every breath of fresh air when we have the chance to be in the wildness or in a mountain area. All these places overtaken by nature, provide the best air quality that we all enjoy without even noticing the polluted air that we might be facing on a daily basis in some urban areas.
The poor air quality in some inhabited areas occurs when we take nature out of the equation. Air pollution comes as a result of industrial activity, transportation, human-perpetuated activity, and others. Natural events such as dust storms and wildfires are also impacting the air quality of a city or area. Air pollution causes about one in eight deaths worldwide through respiratory diseases.
We can all contribute in a way or another to improving the air quality of our cities. Committing on a large scale requires the combined forces for the entire population. But, individually we can start by providing ourselves with a clean environment in the comfort of our own home with a couple of home clean air tips that would improve the air quality in your own home.
Thanks to the conscious effort of citizens as well as authorities, some U.S. cities ended up having better air quality than others. There are state rankings as well as city rankings highlighting some of the areas around the USA with the best air quality. We will highlight some of the aspects that determine how clean the air is and provide a list of cities with the best air quality in the USA.
What makes a US city great in terms of air quality? First, we need to understand what are the parameters that determine air quality. Environmental authorities and companies often use PM2.5 as well as PM10 readings to determine the air quality of a certain area. Levels of ozone, that exceed the limit set by the US Environmental Protection Agency are also harmful.
PM2.5 is a measurement for atmospheric particulate matter that has a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less. As a comparison, it is about 3% the diameter of a human hair. You probably guessed that PM10 refers to particles that have a diameter of 10 micrometers or less and this is called “fine particles”.
Fine particles are usually emitted by power plants, airplanes, motor vehicles, forest fires, volcanic eruptions, and dust storms. The PM2.5 particles which are the smallest and the lightest particles are the most dangerous. Because they are so light and small the chances of humans inhaling them into the bodies are higher. They are also able to bypass the nose as well as the throat, penetrating deep into the lungs and even into the circulatory system.
Studies published by the Journal of the American Medical Association show that long-term exposure to PM2.5 particles could lead to plaque deposits in arteries, vascular inflammation as well as hardening of the arteries. This could eventually lead to heart attacks and strokes, therefore, making them dangerous for the human body.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has collected air quality data for 193 cities in 2018. EPA filed an annual report to determine which of these US cities have the best air quality. According to EPA standards, the amount of PM2.5 particles should not exceed 12 micrograms per cubic meter(μg/m3) on average per year. On the other hand, coarse particles (PM10) should not exceed the amount of 150 μg/m3 in 24 hours.
Based on this data the US cities with the best air quality are:
Burlington-South Burlington, VT - this city ranks as one of the cleanest cities in the USA for air quality. Burlington is amongst the other six cities in the country with zero days of unhealthy ozone levels and short-term pollution.
Urban Honolulu, HI - This city comes in second place for year-round particle pollution and it is known for being one of the cleanest metropolitan areas in the US for ozone.
Nashville, TN - The state of Tennessee has a Division of Air Pollution Control serving 91 counties. The Tennessee Air Pollution Control Board takes their job very seriously and might even bring cases to court to enforce existing regulations in order to ensure clean air. Nashville is one of the top cities in terms of air quality and with a family-friendly environment, this might be the perfect place for a peaceful and healthy lifestyle. Contact the top realtors in Nashville to find out more about the area.
Cheyenne, WY - Ranked as one of the cities in the nation with the best air quality, especially in terms of ozone pollution and year-round particle pollution. This city experienced only one day of high levels of ozone population given the fact that ozone levels shoot up through the country with the rise of global temperature.
Bangor, ME - Nationwide this city was declared one of the “cleanest cities” in the USA according to the American Lung Association report 2019. Only six other cities made it on this top list, but unfortunately, the rest of Maine does fairly well since other counties are experiencing higher levels of ozone compared to previous years.
Long-term exposure to dangerous levels of air pollution can cause serious health problems that’s why it is important to look out for our environment. Living in a modern society that is quickly developing new ways of reducing waste and gas emissions offers us way more means of creating good air quality. Green materials are a great way to build an eco-friendly home and new technologies in terms of transportation and industry reduce air pollution.
The cities with the best air quality in the USA are also cities where people are environmentally aware. Take care of your environment and it will take care of you. Do you agree with our list of cities with the best air quality? Let us know in the comments section below.