Denver ranks No. 1 in list of international cities for air pollution

Denver bolted Saturday afternoon to the top of a foul list, No. 1 in air pollution among major cities of the world.

The city took first place with an air quality index ranking of 162, edging out Johannesburg, South Africa, which had a 160 ranking, according to IQAir, world air quality rankings.

Salt Lake City is No. 5 on the list Saturday afternoon with a 155 ranking. Both western U.S. cities are being overrun with smoke from distant California and West Coast wildfires because of atmospheric conditions and weather patterns.

Denver’s fine particulates are in an “unhealthy” category on Saturday, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Ozone in Denver is moderate and carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide levels rank “good.”

On Saturday afternoon the Western Slope is struggling with air quality. Grand Junction’s air is listed as “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” as is the Colorado River Valley.

Weather forecasters are expecting a slight improvement in the state’s air quality Sunday.


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