Smoggy Reporting


This sort of story is typical when it comes to covering pollution. The American Lung Association has released its latest pollution rankings. The AP reports:

Los Angeles can continue being the butt of smog jokes now that it has once again topped the American Lung Association's bad air list of most polluted cities in America.

The association found that the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside metropolitan area had the worst air based on 2003 through 2005 figures.

The Pittsburgh area was ranked as the nation's second most polluted metropolitan area followed by Bakersfield, Calif., Birmingham, Ala., Detroit and Cleveland. Visalia, Calif., Cincinnati, Indianapolis and St. Louis rounded out the top 10.

That's useful news, at least when it comes to ranking cities (and ranking on cities). The brief article also includes these tidbits, which will surely never get played up in headlines or opening paragraphs:

The news wasn't all bad for Los Angeles. Despite the dubious distinction, the number of days residents breathed the nation's worst ozone levels was fewer than in previous years….

Nearly half of the U.S. population lives in counties that still have unhealthy levels of ozone or particle pollution, even though there appeared to be less ozone in many counties than previous years, the study found.

Hmmm, so air quality seems to be getting better, despite overall population and economic growth in these United States? Why doesn't that sort of thing ever get pushed to the top of such stories? Whole thing here.