The most polluted states in America

This Is What Pollution Does to Your Body

Breathing is as automatic as your heartbeat, but if you live in a polluted area, each breath could be detrimental to your health.

PM2.5 particles, classified as a fine air pollutant with an aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 micrometers, have the ability to penetrate deep into the lungs and bloodstream. A study published in The Lancet found that for every 10 ug/m3 increase of PM2.5 particles, lung cancer incidences increased by 36 percent. Potential sources of PM2.5 include motor vehicles, power plants, wood burning and other industrial processes.

HealthGrove wanted to see which of the 50 U.S. states (and Washington, D.C.) has the most polluted air. Using data from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we analyzed average daily fine particulate matter (ug/m3) from 2003 to 2011.

Air Pollution (ug/m3): 14.36
Cancer Deaths (per 100K): 201.8
Heart Disease Deaths (per 100K): 209.6
Most Polluted County: Posey

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