Ever feel like you're breathing in nothing but dust? Well, you just might be. According to the American Lung Association's annual air pollution rankings, El Paso makes the top 10 in two of three categories for bad air quality.

Based on year-round and short term particle pollution, a mix of very tiny solid and liquid particles that are in the air we breathe, El Paso is the 9th worst city in America for air quality.

You already know you breathe in a ton of dust from all the wind, but what does it mean for your health? Particle pollution can lead to major health problems and shorter lifespans. The people most at risk are:

  • Infants, children and teens
  • People over 65 years of age
  • People with lung disease such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema;
  • People with heart disease or diabetes
  • People with low incomes
  • People who work or are active outdoors

According to the American Lung Association's website, year-long particle pollution may even cause lung cancer. It's also been linked to:

  • increased hospitalization for asthma attacks for children living near roads with heavy truck or trailer traffic
  • slowed lung function growth in children and teenagers
  • significant damage to the small airways of the lungs
  • increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • increased risk of lower birth weight and infant mortality
The good news? El Paso did NOT land on the list for poor Ozone Pollution, or smog. So that's something!
Some nearby cities who made the cleanest air quality list include:
  • Farmington, NM,
  • Flagstaff, AZ
  • Austin, TX
  • Brownsville, TX
  • Albuquerque, NM
  • Santa Fe, NM