Lung Association report says smog in region bad, but improving

In its yearly State of the Air report out today, the American Lung Association gave four Southland counties failing grades for high pollution. KPCC’s Adolfo Guzman-Lopez has more.

In its yearly State of the Air report out today, the American Lung Association gave four Southland counties failing grades for high pollution. KPCC’s Adolfo Guzman-Lopez has more.

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez: The American Lung Association released its report on the steps of L.A. City Hall. Association officials praised Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s effort to rid the port area of polluting trucks and warned that the L.A. region continues to produce some of the worst air pollution in the country. The mayor confirmed the association’s assessment that the region’s improved a lot.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa: I remember though, when you had to stay in the classroom when the pollution was so bad.

Guzman-Lopez: The report’s F grades are based on federal measurements. Last year L.A., Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties had too many days of unhealthful spikes in ozone and particle pollution.

Particle pollution’s made up of ash, soot, diesel exhaust, and chemicals. Ozone smog is the gas formed when sunlight reacts with the vapors of fuel burned in engines. The Lung Association says both pollutants contribute to the deaths of 18,000 Californians each year.

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