It might surprise you that Grand Rapids tops a list for worst air pollution for cities in Michigan and among the worst in the nation. According to the annual 'State of the Air' report from the American Lung Association, it does just that.

Grand Rapids is ranked the worst city in Michigan and 3rd worst in the eastern United States for ozone pollution - or the stuff in the air that causes smog. It's the West Coast, particularly Los Angeles that you think of when you hear smog. And LA is indeed the smoggiest city in the United States. The remainder of the top 10 are in the west from Calfornia cities like Bakersfield and Fresno to Phoenix, Arizona and Denver, Colorado.

Expanding to the top 25 worst cities for ozone pollution, only 3 cities in the Eastern half of the country make the list - New York City, Chicago and Grand Rapids. Not Detroit - Grand Rapids.

What Is Ozone and Why is Grand Rapids Lousy With It?

CBS News, which reported on the list explains why ozone causes smog. The gas in

the upper atmosphere protects Earth, high levels of the gas farther down can be harmful to human health and the environment. Experts have noted in particular that inhaling unhealthy concentrations of ozone in the air can cause a range of breathing problems and even weaken the lungs against infection.

READ MORE: FEMA Maps Out 25 Most Likely Nuclear War Targets in Michigan

Grand Rapids is rated as an 'F' for ozone pollution in the State of the Air report. How do nearby cities do? Kalamazoo gets a C for ozone while Lansing gets an A for no ozone alert days.

The American Lung Association says in a press release on the Grand Rapids region ranking 25 worst air in the country,

The ranking was based on the area’s worst county’s average number of unhealthy days—7.3 days per year, an F grade, in Muskegon County, Michigan. This was worse than the area's ranking in last year's report of 29th worst, with 6.3 days per year, an F grade.

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What exactly causes ozone pollution? It can come from

cars, power plants, industrial boilers, refineries, and chemical plants. Ozone pollution can even come from paints, cleaners, solvents, and motorized lawn equipment. For this reason, levels of ground-level ozone tend to be the highest near urban centers as opposed to rural areas.

So why, one wonders, can the Grand Rapids area rank with a failing F and a scant hour down the road, Lansing is seemingly ozone-pollution free with a soaring A ranking.'

Pollution Report Card: All 83 Michigan Counties Sorted from Worst to Best

The list below is in order from the counties less polluted to most polluted, gathered by County Health Rankings

Where does your county rank?

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