From: Jonathan Bardelline, Green Biz
Published November 5, 2009 09:58 AM

America’s Most Toxic Cities List Released With Surprising Results

Las Vegas has far from a clean reputation, but in Forbes' list of America's Most Toxic Cities, Las Vegas is named the least toxic of 40 major metropolitan areas.

Forbes ranked the cities based on the number of Superfund sites in the principal city, number of facilities that release toxic chemicals, amount of toxic chemicals released in the area and air quality ranking.

Following Las Vegas as the top 10 least toxic cities are Sacramento, Riverside, Austin, Seattle, San Diego, Virginia Beach, San Jose, New York and Phoenix.

Surprised to see a major city like New York in the top ten cleanest? Forbes explains:



Crowded urban areas are often thought of as the most polluted, but the latter isn't always caused by the former. While the Atlanta metro area takes top honors for toxicity, don't blame the city alone. The Atlanta metro includes the cities of Sandy Springs and Marietta, the sites of chemical plants, metal coaters and concrete factories. The cities have toxic-release levels equal at or higher than those Atlanta, in spite of populations that are 15% and 13% the size of Atlanta's, respectively.

The title of most toxic city goes to Atlanta, followed by Detroit, Houston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Jacksonville, Baltimore and Portland.

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