Denver Ranked 5th Worst For Air Quality in the U.S.
If you think smog is just for New York and L.A., think again. According to an article from the New York Post, a recent study found that Colorado had some of the worst air quality in the country in 2020. Which, isn't that surprising because we could literally see (and smell) it for ourselves.
A research group called Environment America Research & Policy Center studied the number of 'bad air days' there were across the U.S. in 2020, meaning days that the Air Quality Index in an given area was over 50. Per their research, Denver had the fifth most bad air days, at 149.
In 2020, 237.6 million Americans – more than 70% of the population – were exposed to more than a month of elevated levels of ozone and/or fine particulate pollution. - Environment America Research & Policy Center
According to a map graphic provided by the Environment America Research & Policy Center, Larimer County and Weld County were also in the 101 to 175 days out of the year category (so, basically one third). Again, not too surprising, considering 2020 was the year of our state's largest and second largest wildfires, burning simultaneously. You can see the full study here.
But, 2021 wasn't great for the Mile High State either, as we unfortunately fell under smoke plumes from out-of-state wildfires burning in California and the Pacific Northwest.
In fact, there were days this year that the Denver area had some of the worst air quality in the world, and the air inside was actually worse than outside. But breathe easy, because things have fortunately cleared up for us since then, and we can even see the Front Range of the Rockies again.
2020 Cameron Peak Fire