Great places for clean air

Feel free to breathe deep: In these 20 towns, the air quality is rated highly, and pollution levels are below the U.S. average.

Live Oak, CA
best places cleanest air live oak california
Population: 17,566
Air quality index (% good days): 100%
Air pollution index (lower is better): 80

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Source: AQI data are county-level numbers from the Environmental Protection Agency. Air Pollution Index stats are based on the incidence of airborne lead, NO2, particulate matter, carbon monoxide and ozone depletion found at local monitoring sites; 100 is national average. A place may rate well on the overall Air Pollution Index and still have a relatively high reading for one or more pollutants. AQI and API numbers are based on results from local monitoring stations which, depending on where stations are placed and factors like prevailing winds, may or may not reflect air quality conditions for the entire area. For example, a sampling site next to the ocean may see better air quality numbers than a site in the center of a town. No more than one place per county could qualify.
- Last updated August 20 2013 05:01 PM ET
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