Philly Tops List of Most Toxic Cities: Forbes

Free tip: Buy bottled water from now on

Hold your breath, close your windows and don’t drink the water: Philadelphia has been named the most toxic city in America.

Yes, that means we beat out smog-famed Los Angeles and bridge-and-tunnel New York City – by a lot.

“Philadelphia could be considered the capital of toxicity,” says Forbes’ Morgan Brennan.

Brennan sifted through Environmental Protection Agency data to compare the air quality, water quality, population health and Toxic Release Inventory of the 80 largest metropolitan areas in the United States.

The greater Philadelphia area failed.

The Toxic Release Inventory is how many pounds of potentially dangerous chemicals are released into the environment from industries such as manufacturing, utilities and metal and coal mining, reports Forbes.

The tri-state area of Philadelphia, Camden, N.J., and Wilmington, Del. reported 11 .3 million pounds of on-site toxic releases. These chemicals have been linked to everything from cancer to birth defects.

To compare: the No. 2 toxic city – Bakerfield, Calif. only had 2.2 million pounds of these toxic chemicals.

But that’s just our toxic releases. Philadelphia was also rated as having the worst water quality in the country. That Brita filter may not be enough, people.

The only thing that doesn’t make this city a serious Hazmat situation is the air quality. But don’t get excited – it’s still not good.

Philly had two days a year when the air quality is so bad everyone could have problems breathing. Bakerfield had unbreathable days 43; Fresno had 29, and Los Angeles has 14.

Behind Philadelphia in this line of toxic shame is Bakersfield, Calif. at No. 2; Fresno, Calif. at No. 3; New York City at No. 4; and Baton Rouge, La. At No. 5.

Contact Us