This area of California has the worst air quality in the country: study

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Perhaps unsurprisingly to many, the part of the United States with the worst air quality is located right in the heart of Southern California, according to a new study.

In a study conducted by SmartSurvey that used 12 metrics to measure air quality, the Inland Empire topped the list as having the worst total air quality in the U.S. The market, consisting of the area around Riverside, San Bernardino and Ontario, tallied just 54 “good air days” in 2023, according to the research.

During that same year, the Inland Empire experienced a “staggering” 59 days with unhealthy air quality for sensitive groups.

“It is surprising to see Inland Empire with worse air quality than its populous neighbor, Greater Los Angeles,” said SmartSurvey CEO Mo Naser. “It is speculated that natural wind patterns on the coast transport harmful aerosols from LA toward Inland Empire, where the pollutants are then trapped by mountainous terrain.” 

Trailing behind the Inland Empire were Houston, Texas, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, in second and third, respectively.

Another California market, El Centro, was ranked as having the sixth least-healthy air quality in the U.S. The market representing L.A., Long Beach and Anaheim was ranked No. 28.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.