Philly Earns an ‘F' Due to Pollution

Philadelphia area’s pollution earns it an "F" from American Lung Association

When it comes to Philadelphia pollution, there's good news and bad news. First the good: The Philadelphia metropolitan area enjoyed the best local results for two measures of air quality in The American Lung Association’s State of the Air 2014.

Year-round particle pollution is at its lowest level since the annual report began 15 years ago. The region also saw the fewest unhealthful days ever for short-term particle pollution. Cleaner diesel engines comprise a larger portion of the on-road fleet, and power plants and industrial operations have replaced or eliminated older, more polluting equipment. These changes have resulted in less year-round particle pollution.

Now the bad news: Ozone levels (commonly called smog) came in worse than it did in the 2009 data, likely due to warmer temperatures in 2012. Philadelphia County remained the most polluted county in the metro area as well as in Pennsylvania, and was graded “F,” significantly worsening its annual average to 16.7 days with unhealthful levels of ozone in 2010-2012, from 10.7 in 2009-2011.


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The area was tied as the 11th most polluted nationwide for year-round particle pollution. Read more about this story on

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