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America’s 10 Most Toxic Cities

1. Philadelphia, Pa.
The sprawling Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington MSA, including parts of four states (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and one county in Maryland), is home to more than 50 Superfund sites, which is what pushed it to the number one toxic spot in the country

MSA: Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa./N.J./Del./Md.
Number of unhealthy air quality days (2009): 2
Pounds of on-site toxic releases reported (2009): 11.3 million
EWG top water concern: Total trihalomethanes

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


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8:00AM PST on Dec 7, 2011


7:59AM PST on Dec 7, 2011


6:16AM PDT on Sep 5, 2011

With all the fuss over California's environmental laws (from anti-environmentalists) you'd think they'd noticed that more cities in CA made this list than any other state...

7:43PM PDT on Apr 30, 2011

I use to live in NYC and had terrible breathing problems, I moved to Albuquerque, NM and problems fixed! I love New Mexico

1:18PM PDT on Apr 30, 2011

oh, my :( Thanks for sharing

9:20AM PDT on Apr 30, 2011

I"m living in sunny Florida (unfortunately summer's are humid) but definately can't complain after seeing the places listed here that are toxic. Pretty scarey! Time to concentrate on efforts to clean up our planet!!

7:35PM PDT on Apr 18, 2011


11:06PM PDT on Mar 29, 2011


9:48PM PDT on Mar 29, 2011

Why is California always leading these lists?

12:20PM PDT on Mar 29, 2011

Don't think you're immune from air problems if you live in the country or a small town. In the Baltimore area the worst air quality is in the middle of a field in a rural portion of a suburban county. You don't inherently deserve to have cleaner air just because you live in a smaller place. I really distain the anti-city sentiments that pervade many of the comments here. I'll take city living in a second.

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