Metropolitan areas often have a higher number of cars clogging the road, with exhaust pouring from vehicles as they sit in traffic. That's why worse air pollution and smog are often found more around big cities with larger populations than in smaller towns where the commute isn't as long and traffic isn't nearly as congested.
Using data from the 2021 Air Quality Statistics Report, released in May 2022 by the Environmental Protection Agency, Stacker released a list of the 50 U.S. cities with the "dirtiest" air, ranking cities according to the average amount of coarse particulate matter in the air. Four cites in Missouri made the list:
- No. 24: Kansas City
- No. 29: St. Louis
- No. 31: St. Joseph
- No. 46: Joplin
While four Show-Me state cities also found a spot on the list, Kansas City ranked higher among cities with dirtier air, with the site noting that the city is "subject to the impacts of industrial air pollution, particularly soot from coal-fired power plants, diesel emissions, and wood-burning devices" and that "these emissions worsen in the winter as the demand for heating increases."
These are the 10 U.S. cities with the "dirtiest" air in the country:
- Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Arizona
- Hanford-Corcoran, California
- Tuscon, Arizona
- El Centro, California
- Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Visalia-Porterville, California
- El Paso, Texas
- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California
- Las Cruces, New Mexico
- Bakersfield, California
Check out the full report at stacker.com to learn more.