A breath of fresh air is what you can expect in these five U.S. cities. The American Lung Association recently released itsÂ 2012 State of the Air rankings, which rates metro areas based on ozone and smog levels.Â
Here are the five cities that emerged on top for cleanest air:Â
- Santa Fe, N.M.:Â New Mexico is known for having strict emission standards and Santa Fe's closest major power plant is about 200 miles away.Â
- Bismarck, N.D.:Â The cityâ€™s flat landscape is credited for helping its better air quality because the air doesnâ€™t get trapped and the cityâ€™s prevailing westerly winds help keep skies refreshened. Â
- Duluth, Minn.:Â The constant winds blowing off the lake help to remove pollution. The city also does not have a lot of heavy industry.Â
- Honolulu:Â Because itâ€™s so isolated in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, it doesnâ€™t have pollution blowing in from other places. Plus, the steady trade winds help blow any of its smog away.
- Port St. Lucie, Fla.:Â â€œSince there are no valleys or basins in the area, polluted air doesn't get trapped,â€ CNNMoney reports about the studyâ€™s findings. â€œAnd the subtropical breezes that blow much of the time keep things circulating.â€Â
Source: â€œAmericaâ€™s Cleanest Cities,â€ CNNMoney (April 2012)