Houston among the smoggiest cities in America

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HOUSTON, TX - They say love is in the air, but what about smog?  A new ranking placed Houston among the top 10 most-polluted cities in America.

It looks like economic progress comes with a price tag.  The American Lung Association analyzed the air we breath in metropolitan areas throughout the country, focusing on two aspects: short term particle pollution and unhealthy levels of ozone.

"Particle pollution comes from vehicles or facilities that incinerate waste materials," explains Adrian Shelly, executive director of Houston Air Alliance. "Ozone pollution is also known as smog."

While cities in California are the most affected in both cases, the results for Houston are mixed.  When it comes to short term particle pollution, "Houston-The Woodlands" comes in 20th place which is not that bad.

"All areas in Houston are meeting the short term particle standard right now," said Shelly.

But when we're talking about unhealthy levels of ozone, we got number six, the first metro area outside of California.  And Dallas-Fort Worth comes right after.

"Ozone pollution is responsible for exacerbation of respiratory illnesses, asthma attacks and can even cause cardiac arrest,"added the expert.

The American Lung Association reported that overall Houston is improving its stand compared to the previous year, and that's a good thing.  But there's still more work to do to clean the air.  So, breath in… breath out… and let's fix this, alright?