Great air quality is one of the many benefits of living in a low pollution environment. People living in locations with good air quality are less likely to suffer from environment related health problems. According to the American Lung Association, healthy air is one of the key factors to preventing lung disease, cancer, and other respiratory problems that pollution can cause. A look at some of the U.S. states with best air quality can show which regions have excelled in keeping the air toxin-free.
With its lakes, mountain ranges, and agriculture-rich Pacific coastline, Washington has been ranked the top state for best air quality. The state’s natural resources and Pacific Northwest location has contributed to its oxygen-rich air quality. The state government has also established other provisions for keeping the air clean, including local clean air control agencies and the statewide air quality program. The Washington State Department of Ecology and the Washington State Clean Air Authority both serve as regulatory agencies to help keep the air clean for residents and visitors.
Known for its four seasons, Green Mountain range, and sweet maple syrup, Vermont also boasts the best air quality in the northeast. The state’s low population and high penalties for environmental damage help keep pollution rates low. Vermont has also established the Department of Environmental Conservation to preserve its natural resources. This government agency runs the Vermont Air Pollution Control Division, which monitors pollution and toxic emissions from power plants and local manufacturers. As an added precaution, the state also has several smoking restriction laws to help keep air clean indoors and outside.
Located on the Pacific Coast, Oregon is home to impressive landscape, forests, and natural resources. Residents in this Pacific Northwest state also benefit from clean air quality. The state’s Department of Environmental Quality helps regulate outdoor air pollution through the Air Quality Program. The Oregon Indoor Clean Air Act is designed to regulate second hand smoke and keep air clean in the workplace. Although Oregon’s largest city, Portland, has experienced greater levels of pollution than usual in recent years, new programs such as Neighbors for Clean Air have been established to keep pollution levels in line.
While many people associate Iowa mainly with corn fields and farming, the state of Iowa boasts the added bonus of great air quality. Known as one of the key states in the U.S. heartland, the state has also made advances in green energy and biotechnology that results in low air pollution. The state government has established the Iowa Clean Air Attainment Program to help regulate emissions from factories, manufacturing, and farming. Lawmakers have also set up the Iowa Smoke-free Air Act to help minimize indoor pollution. With these provisions in place, it is no wonder that Iowa has been ranked among the healthiest environments for families to live.
As the most northeastern state of the lower 48 United States, Maine is known for its Atlantic coastline and impressive fisheries. In addition to its famous coastline, forests, and seafood industry, Maine has some of the best air quality in the nation. The state’s residents have committed to protecting their natural resources through the Maine Healthy Air Coalition and the Natural Resources Council of Maine. The state’s senate has also complied with amendments to the Clean Air Act to improve the health of citizens.
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Fred Stanley has worked in public health for more than 17 years and enjoys sharing interesting information and health tips with is readers. Fred also is a writer at MPHOnline.org, a great resource for others seeking a job in public health.