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top 5 cities with the cleanest air|Honolulu, HI.|Bellingham, WA|Burlington-South Burlington, VT.|Cheyenne, WY.|Wilmington, NC.

Forest Bathing

The Top 5 Cities with the Cleanest Air

Having access to clean air is very important for your overall health and wellness. This is why you should be fully aware of the cities that have the cleanest air. With cleaner vehicles and power plants, more cities are having access to clean air than ever in recent times. However, 40 percent of Americans continue to live in a city with unhealthy air conditions according to the American Lung Association. 1 Below, we will be going over some of the cleanest cities that you will find in the country, and why they are so clean. 

Honolulu, HI. Honolulu, HI.

This is one of the cleanest cities in the entire world. One of the main reasons Honolulu offers such clean air has to do with the fact that it benefits from trade winds. However, it is also helped by the fact that they rely largely on solar power for electricity needs. As a result, there is a lot less industrial pollution that would normally result from relying on less clean energy sources.

Bellingham, WA Bellingham, WA.

Another city that has been recognized as having some of the cleanest air is Bellingham, WA. Bellingham offers not only a clean city in general, but it offers the cleanest air in terms of short-term particle pollution, ozone pollution, and year-round particle pollution. Another thing to note about Bellingham is the fact that they did not have any high particle pollution days throughout the entire year nor did they have high ozone pollution. One of the main reasons it ranks so high for clean air has to do with the fact that the Northwest Clean Air Agency has excellent state and local regulations and it is great at enforcing them 2 .

Burlington-South Burlington, VT. Burlington-South Burlington, VT.

Burlington-South Burlington is another city that ranks high in clean air. It is ranked number one for the cleanest metropolitan area in the entire country for ozone pollution, number 71 for short-term particle pollution, and number 18 for annual particle pollution 3 . The primary reason for Burlington ranking so high is due to the importance of health-focused laws set forth in the state and region.

Cheyenne, WY. Cheyenne, WY.

Cheyenne ranks in at the top for the cleanest city for year-round particle pollution and it is also, in fact, one of the cleanest in terms of short-term pollution 4 . Wyoming actually features multiple cities with some of the cleanest reported air including Casper, WY. One of the big reasons for the dramatic improvements in clean air for this particular city and region is due to their commitment to natural energy production. The implementation of the Clean Air Act has been largely responsible for air pollution going down throughout the entire country overall 5 . However, in recent times, the air pollution has been gaining in the West largely due to wildfire smoke sweeping the entire West coast.

Wilmington, NC. Wilmington, NC.

Wilmington, NC is another city that ranks very high in terms of air quality index. The American Lung Association found that Wilmington is one of the cities in the United States with the cleanest air, largely due to local energy plants switching over to using natural gas 6 . Previously, the power plant utilized coal-fired generators which create much more pollution than natural gas plants. This, along with much more strict laws for those burning things in their backyard and smoking in public has led to a widespread decrease in air pollution throughout the entire city.

Why It Matters?

Living with clean air is something that matters a lot. Without access to clean air, you cannot experience the benefits of nature. Nature can offer a tremendous amount when it comes to keeping your body healthy. When you expose yourself to clean air in nature, you are able to breathe in various properties that can help enhance your mood, provide you with energy, and even boost your natural immune system. This is through exposure to terpenes or secondary metabolites. When the air is too polluted, you are not going to gain the same benefits as you would with clean air, nor will you want to spend as much time outdoors. Instead of experiencing the benefits of this type of exposure, you will be subject to pollutants that can cause inflammation throughout your body, breathing issues in those with respiratory problems, to begin with, and more.

One of the best ways to improve your health if you are not currently living in an area with access to clean air is by exposing yourself to the many benefits of aromatherapy and using well-known essential oil that can produce the same effect as clean air exposure. This process is known as Paleo air and it can have tremendous benefits that closely mimic the many benefits of forest bathing 7, 8 .

Overall, having access to clean air is key. Not only can clean air help one achieve better overall health in general, but it can do a lot for keeping you out of harm's way when it comes to being consistently exposed to air pollutants. Being able to breathe clean air comes with numerous benefits as well. Not only will you be able to spend more time outdoors and take in more secondary metabolites which have their own health benefits like anti-inflammatory effects, but you will be able to get more vitamin D from being outside.

Photo credits: Osugi/, SvetaImnadze/, EricPasqualli/, ArinaPHabich/, DarwinBrandis/, CebotariN/

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