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13 Reasons Your City Is So Polluted

smoke stacks nuclear power plant cooling towers
Christopher Furlong, Getty Images

The environment might be slowly improving, but we still have a long way to go to avoid the day when Gucci and Nike start selling fashionable gas masks for our daily wardrobe.

The American Lung Association recently released a new report of the cities with the cleanest and dirtiest air and (surprise!) five California cities topped the “dirtiest cities” list. Of course, California might be clogged with more smoke than Don Draper’s lungs, but it’s not the only dirty place in America. Here are some ways to tell if your corner of the country could use a lot of Febreze.

1. Your town is known as the “iron lung capital of the world.”

2. The police cars, ambulances and school buses are all Hummers.

3. You never need to wear sunblock at the beach thanks to all the smog.

4. The mayor refers to breathing as “a privilege, not a right.”

5. During the winter months, you get up extra early to shovel the ash off of the driveway.

6. Your town banned every KFC, Burger King and Pizza Hut because it can’t handle any more methane.

7. You and your neighbors earned enough “Camel Cash” to buy the police department its own tank.

8. The town’s nuclear power plant is run by BP.

9. The town’s most common illness is miners’ lung.

10. Your city has the world’s only mandatory “outdoor” smoking ban.

11. When you go out of town, you spot a strange, bright, round object in the sky and are surprised to learn it’s something called “the sun.”

12. Your city has a “lung scrubber” tax.

13. You live in California.

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