Do you live in a toxic city? If you have multiple bad air quality days, your water is poisonous, and there are lots of industrial sites producing chemicals nearby -- then, congratulations! You live in a very toxic American city. But if you're really lucky, you also live in one of the Top 10 Toxic Cities honored by Forbes.
Why lucky? I've been to all but two of these areas -- and lived in two as well -- and enjoyed these dirty towns immensely. In addition to being bad for your health, they're kind of cool. Which is why, I suppose, you can often find such strange things in the drinking water.
Where should one go for such a grimy, good time?
Philadelphia tops the list, and so finally beats New York City in something. Yes, there are some urban blight issues around the city, but if you grab a cheesesteak and a Yuengling, you really won't notice. Two smoggy California areas follow with Bakersfield and Fresno taking the number two and three toxic spots. Then comes NYC with its total haloacetic acids; dieldrin; and total trihalomethanes spiked water.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana (from whence my people hail) is next on the list, followed by Los Angeles (where my people are right now). I should note that the skies are incredibly clear today -- no smog in sight. Houston is next, followed by St. Louis -- where you can find some of the finest art museums and symphonies in all of the United States. Salt Lake City squeaks in at number nine, and Riverside-San Bernardino, California ends the list.
Now, don't those all sound like great places to take your next family vacation? Well, except Bakersfield -- I really don't know what's going on there. Of course you should bring your own water filter, and plan on staying indoors if you get one of those air quality alerts. Something those of us who already live here practice religiously.
Also, like the rest of us, you can continue to write your Congressperson and complain about what the funk is going on with all this crap being given to us and our kids.
Do you live in a toxic city?
Image via vic15/Flickr