These cities suffer from high levels of ozone, sulfur dioxide, air-borne particulates and tap water so polluted you can't (or shouldn't) drink it. This is the harsh, lung-searing, rash-inducing reality for millions of people in some of America's biggest cities. Is your town on the list? (Pictured is the Gowanus Canal Superfund site in Brooklyn, New York.)
Much of the data for our list of the 20 Dirtiest Cities In America is derived from rankings done by Bert Sperling on his Bestplaces.net website. Sperling is known for his books like “Best Places To Raise Your Family” and “Cities Ranked And Rated.” His website features tools
that let you slice and dice cities by a whole host of categories, like cost of living and income, as well as by water and air quality.
Sperling’s air quality index is based on annual data from the EPA, which factors in ozone and pollutants like carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead and volatile organic chemicals.
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