Southern California Dirty-Dirty

Unfortunately for Los Angeles, it looks like there are more smog jokes on the horizon. The American Lung Association has once again fingered Los Angeles as having the most polluted air in the country. The Associated Press reports:
The news wasn't all bad for Los Angeles. Despite the dubious distinction, the number of days residents breathed the nation's worst ozone levels was fewer than in previous years.

"Nobody is surprised that LA has an air pollution problem," said Janice Nolen, the association's assistant vice president for national policy and advocacy. "The problems there are one of the reasons we have the Clean Air Act. But it is important for folks to know that there has been some improvement."

The organization based the rankings on ozone pollution levels produced when heat and sunlight come into contact with pollutants from power plants, cars, refineries and other sources. The group also studied particle pollution levels emitted from these sources, which are made up of a mix of tiny solid and liquid particles in the air.
Pollution and chemicals are a scary. According to Dr. Fuhrman they can bring on things like asthma. He goes into more detail in Disease-Proof Your Child:
Living in an urban area around pollution is an important contributor. Non-dietary risk factors include exposure to day care before four months of age, and exposure to wood smoke, oil smoke, or exhaust anytime from birth to age five all increase asthma risk by 50 percent.1
1. ATS 99th International Conference Mini-Symposium: Abstract Page A831. Risk Factors for the development of asthma in childhood (Hygiene Hypothesis)—Early life risk factors for asthma: findings from the children’s health study. Presented May 21 2003.
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