Colorado Springs and Pueblo top 20 for cleanest particle pollution in report, Denver 12th worst for ozone

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - If you live in Colorado Springs or Pueblo you can take a deep breath and sigh of relief! The American Lung Association released its "State of the Air" report on Wednesday and both cities ranked in the top 20 for cleanest U.S. Cities for Year-round Particle Pollution.

The Mile High City was on the other end of the spectrum in the report for ozone. The air quality report card ranked Denver as the 12th most polluted city in the country for ozone. The annual air quality “report card” tracks Americans’ exposure to unhealthful levels of ozone or particle pollution, both of which can be deadly.

“Denver residents should be aware that we’re breathing unhealthy air, placing our health and lives at risk,” said American Lung Association director of advocacy JoAnna Strother. “In addition to challenges here in Denver, the 20th-anniversary ‘State of the Air’ report highlights that more than 4 in 10 Americans are living with unhealthy air, and we’re heading in the wrong direction when it comes to protecting public health.”

Click here to read the report card for all of Colorado by County.

Colorado Springs ranked number 13 for Cleanest U.S. Cities for Year-round Particle Pollution while Pueblo/Cañon City came in at number 7.

“Particle pollution is made of soot or tiny particles that come from coal-fired power plants, diesel emissions, wildfires and wood-burning devices. These particles are so small that they can lodge deep in the lungs and trigger asthma attacks, heart attacks and strokes, and can even be lethal,” said Strother. “Year-round particle pollution levels have dropped thanks to the cleanup of coal-fired power plants and the retirement of old, dirty diesel engines.”