Discover Town With the Worst Air Quality in Arizona

A little community in central Arizona has the state’s highest air quality. The lively town is known for its beautiful views, but air pollution is threatening residents and wildlife. Let’s find Arizona’s worst air quality community.

This article will explain how this small hamlet became one of the state’s worst air quality areas and its effects on inhabitants and the environment. Combating the situation will also be examined.

Worst Arizona Air Quality Town

Several Arizona localities have poor air quality. One stands out with a high Air Quality Index ranking. Tonto Basin is a cautionary tale of how climate change and pollution have affected its residents.

Tonto Basin is in West Gila County’s Mazatzal Mountains foothills. The settlement was once the last Apache stronghold. However, it now has Arizona’s worst air quality.

Air quality in Tonto Basin

We must comprehend Tonto Basins’ air quality score calculation before looking at it. The numerical air quality index (AQI) measures air quality. Sulfur, ground-level ozone, carbon monoxide, and contaminants are scale factors.

The formula measures each pollutant and converts it into an index value. That is entered into the EPA air quality index methodology. This yields the air quality-determining AQI score. AQI scales rank air quality numerically. Meanings of the following scores:

  • 0-5: Liveable. Pollution and side effects are absent.
  • 51-100: Acceptable air quality that only puts a few persons at risk who are sensitive to air pollution. Air pollution will harm sensitive people, but others will be healthy.
  • 151-200: The public and sensitive people will suffer long-term health problems.
  • 201-300: Pollution is so great that all animals will suffer.
  • 301+: Evacuate everyone.

Tonto Basin has 67.8 air quality. It’s not bad, but the number is rising. Tonto Basin’s AQI could have serious effects if nothing is done. Tonto Basin’s 101-150 AQI rating will affect the populace and wildlife.

What Made Tonto Basin the Worst Air Quality Index?

The Tonto Basin’s air quality index is among the highest in Arizona. Many blame this for global warming. Despite their opinion, the town’s terrible position is to blame.

The town sits in a mountainous valley. Due to height, the basin will retain pollution, making this necessary. Since pollution has nowhere to go, the air won’t move. The town has some mines and factories. The town’s pollution is mostly caused by these factors. Car use has increased with population growth, adding to pollution.

The Environmental Protection Agency has rules for towns to avoid this. However, the local administration has ignored its advice.

Discover Town With the Worst Air Quality in Arizona

Where is Tonto Basin on the Map?

Tonto Basin is 89 miles northeast of Phoenix in central Arizona. Roosevelt Lake is less than 20 miles southeast and the Tonto National Forest is nearby.

Tonto Basin People

World Population Review estimated 1,437 Tonto Basin residents in 2023, a decline. Agriculture, farming, and tourism sustain the village. Mountainous surroundings provide the city with plenty of nature to offer travelers. This makes the town special for outdoor enthusiasts.

Poor air quality will harm residents’ health. Remember that breathing in high pollution levels might have long-term repercussions. Poor air quality causes COPD, cancer, and other cardiovascular disorders.

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has listed some long-term effects of air pollution denial. It impacts town residents and visitors. The short-term impacts of pollution and poor air quality include pneumonia and bronchitis.


Every Tonto Basin resident should worry about poor air quality. This situation will worsen as the basin traps more pollution and damages all life there.

Fortunately, attempts have been made to fix this. Environmental restrictions and sustainable living have been promoted in Tonto Basin by the government. Residents may change this by raising environmental awareness.


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