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Chicago Now Ranks 16th Most Polluted City in the U.S.

(Chicago, IL)  The American Lung Association’s 2020 “State of the Air” report revealed that Chicago ranks the 16th most polluted city in the nation for ozone pollution, which is worse than last year’s report where the city was ranked 18th most polluted.


The annual “State of the Air” report tracks Americans’ exposure to unhealthful levels of ozone or particle pollution, both of which can be deadly. This year’s report covers the most recent quality-assured data available collected by states, cities, counties, tribes and federal agencies in 2016-2018.


Each year the “State of the Air” provides a report card on the two most widespread outdoor air pollutants, ozone pollution, also known as smog, and particle pollution also called soot. The report analyzes particle pollution in two ways: through average annual particle pollution levels and short-term spikes in particle pollution. Both ozone and particle pollution are dangerous to public health and can increase the risk of premature death and other serious health effects such as lung cancer, asthma attacks, cardiovascular damage, and developmental and reproductive harm.


Ozone Pollution in Chicago

  • Grade: F
  • Rank: 16th most polluted
  • 19.2 unhealthy ozone days


Compared to the 2019 report, Chicago experienced more unhealthy days of high ozone in this year’s report.

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