Houston listed among 'most polluted' cities in USA

Where you live could have an impact on your lungs and your health. The American Lung Association has a list of the most polluted cities.

Even on a beautiful spring day, a line of smog can be seen on the horizon over Los Angeles.

The greater L.A. area is ranked at the top of the American Lung Associations list of cities with the worst air. Asthma sufferer Dina Tabs feels it when the pollution is high.

The chest tightness, I TMm a little bit slower, I can hear a little bit of wheezing.

The state of the air report finds 48 percent of U.S. residents live in counties where smog or ozone levels are too high, 20 percent live in areas where there are too many short-term spikes in pollution and 6 percent live in areas with harmful year-round soot or particles in the air.

The very tiny particles instead of impacting the throat or nose make it all the way down into the lung and carry with them all kinds of toxins so that TMs what we fear increases the risk of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease, says Dr. Eric C. Kleerup, UCLA Lung Specialist.

The new report shows air quality in many US cities has improved, but still most Americans live in areas where the air is dangerous to breathe.

The top most polluted places are mostly in California although Houston and Charlotte, North Carolina are also included.

The air quality can also affect patients with a host of medical conditions.

If they TMare on an appropriate medication they might be able to make it through without an emergency room visit but they feel worse, says Dr. Kleerup.

Patients like Dina know to plan around pollution.

Instead of running outdoors I go to the gym or find alternate ways of doing my exercising or running, says Dina.

So she doesn TMt Have to feel the painful symptoms of dirty air.

Honolulu, Hawaii and Santa Fe New Mexico are the cleanest cities according to the new report.

For more information on the air quality in your state or county, check out