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America's Most Polluted Cities

What is Particle Pollution?

What is Particle Pollution?

Particle pollution, called soot, refers to a mixture of tiny particles in the air that, when breathed, can pass through the lungs and get into the blood. Particle pollution can occur mechanically, through dust storms, construction and demolition; or chemically, through automobile and power plant combustion. Particle pollution inhalation can lead to respiratory problems, heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular diseases. The following cities are ranked by average levels of year-round particle pollution.

By MedHelp Editors, published May 3, 2011