Philadelphia is most toxic U.S. city

Apr 13, 2011

Philly's proximity to Superfund sites makes it the most toxic city in the nation.

While Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has the honor of being the birthplace of the U.S. constitution, it also holds the dubious title of America's most toxic city, according to Forbes.

In a ranking of the nation's top 10 most toxic metropolis', the City of Brotherly Love topped the list, meaning the city residents may be facing higher life insurance policies than the rest of the nation. The results - based off a review of air and water quality, the number of Superfund sites and company-reported toxic releases - found that Philly's proximity to almost 50 Superfund sites and high levels of air pollution may be hazardous to human health.

Four California cities made the list, according to the magazine, with Bakersfield coming in second. The city experienced 43 days in 2009 when the Air Quality Index, as determined by the Environmental Protection Agency, rose above 100, a feat that most cities almost never experience. Other Golden State cities like Fresno and Los Angeles made the list for similar reasons.

New York City, Baton Rouge, Houston, St. Louis, Salt Lake City and San Bernadino rounded out the list, reported the source.

Health-conscious movers may want to avoid those cities, as a Study in the New England Journal of Medicine found air quality can significantly affect human health. Researchers discovered that drops in air contaminants measured between 1980 and 2000 appears to have added almost five months to U.S. life expectancy.
 

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