The Southland was rated among the worst in the United States for air quality, according to a new report released by the American Lung Association.
The 2011 State of the Air report ranked metropolitan areas based on ozone as well as short term and long term particle pollution data from 2007, 2008 and 2009.
The Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Riverside areas were ranked number 1 for high ozone days out of the 277 metropolitan areas surveyed. They were also ranked number 4 for 24-hour particle pollution.
Despite the bad news, the report also said the number of high ozone days in the same region has been reduced over past years. There were 52.7 less days of high ozone in 2011 than in 1996 and 57 less days of particle pollution.
The cities are ranked by the air quality in the most polluted county in the metropolitan area, according to the Association.
Honolulu, Hawaii, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, ranked among the cleanest cities.
According to the report, over half the nation still suffers pollution levels that are often to dangerous to breathe. But thanks to reductions in emissions from coal-fired power plants and cleaner diesel fuels, air quality has improve in most areas.