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Pittsburgh Surpasses L.A. as Nation's Sootiest City

Los Angeles, CA – For the first time ever, a city outside California has been named the sootiest in the nation. And Birmingham, Ala., has also made the list of the nation's most polluted cities.

The American Lung Association says Pittsburgh has taken the title from Los Angeles. Soot is short-term particle pollution and it's one of several factors that the association uses to determine pollution. Los Angeles still rates overall as the most polluted city.

However, the lung association praises L.A. for its clean-air efforts which have resulted in a substantial drop in particle levels.

The findings are part of the association's annual "State of the Air" report, being released today.

The report is based on air quality measurements reported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by state and local agencies between 2004 and 2006.

The eight metropolitan areas considered to be the nation's most polluted by every measure are: Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Fresno, Visalia-Porterfield and Hanford-Corcoran, all in California; Washington DC-Baltimore; St. Louis; and Birmingham, Alabama.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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