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Forbes lists America's 'most toxic' cities

Posted On Tue, March 1, 2011

With more than 50 million Americans lacking health insurance, many people are making an extra effort to avoid getting sick.

And for people particularly sensitive to unhealthy air, avoiding pollution-rich localities may be the next step.

Forbes magazine recently released the results of a study that shows the air quality of 80 metropolitan areas. According to the study - dubbed America's Most Toxic Cities - Philadelphia, Bakersfield, California and Fresno, California are some of the country's most pollution-rich cities.

Forbes was quick to point out that people who live in these areas aren't in imminent danger, only that these cities had more days in 2009 where the EPA's Air Quality Index was above 100. Anything between 100 and 500 is considered to be unhealthy.

Poor air quality can be particularly hard on the immuno-deficient, like children and older adults, as well as people that suffer from lung diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, asthma and lung cancer.

According to statistics compiled from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more people in the U.S. die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer.

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