What the Arizona Office of Tourism Won’t Tell You
According to the American Lung Association State of the Air report (PDF), Phoenix was ranked 7th most polluted city for ozone levels and 6th for particle pollution. The ALA report ranked cities by particle pollution, both short-term and year-round, as well as by ozone levels.
Particle pollution includes dust, metals, smoke, exhaust and acids, like nitrates and sulfates. Arizona has no shortage of particle pollution. Ozone is created when burnt fuels are combined with ultraviolet light to form a gas. Many of the cities with the dirtiest air are in the sunny valleys and basins of the West, where pollutants can stagnate create the hazy smog.
Although Arizona requires emissions testing on vehicles, nothing can be done about the abundant levels of dust in the air, which put Phoenix in sixth place for year-round particle pollution.
Please read my other Arizona pollution article for more detailed information about the pollutants in the air in Arizona.
(Source: American Lung Association)
Thinking About Moving To Arizona?
As always, the intent is not to dissuade anyone from moving to Arizona. The purpose of these articles is to present facts and front-line coverage of what life in the Arizona desert is really like.
I moved here, and it was a mistake. My eyes, sinuses and lungs continually burn and I no longer have a sense of smell. Amazingly, when I leave Arizona I am able to breath again. The air is too dry and polluted, and I fear staying here will shorten my life span.