When you think about polluted cities, what cities do you think of? You most likely think of the biggest cities in our country. When we think about polluted cities we think about smog, traffic, and poor-smelling air.

There are a lot more factors when it comes to air pollution that affect smaller cities and towns.

Lung.org released its annual list of the most polluted cities in America.

Although most cities on Lung.org's research point to large cities as the most polluted, there is a very surprising city in Northern Colorado named one of the most polluted cities in America. 

The Research and How It Impacts Colorado

The website has three separate rankings for pollution in America. The rankings are ozone pollution, by-year particle pollution, and short-term particle pollution.

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Fort Collins was ranked the 16th most polluted city in America, according to the ranking. The Choice City has the 16th worst ozone pollution.

You might be wondering what ozone pollution is. I was wondering the same thing. Here is the definition from the Washington Department of Ecology.

Ground-level ozone forms when nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds react with each other in sunlight and hot temperatures. This pollution comes from vehicles, industry, and other sources and contributes to smog formation.

No other cities and towns in Northern Colorado were mentioned in the ranking. However, two other Colorado cities made the top 25 list of the most polluted in America.

Other Colorado Cities Mentioned


Colorado Springs is also one of the most polluted cities in America. They were ranked 20th, just four spots behind Fort Collins.

As you probably guessed, Denver was rated the most polluted in Colorado. Denver is the sixth most polluted city in America behind four cities in California and one in Arizona.

You can look at the full ranking here.

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