Lung association report gives California air mixed reviews

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The American Lung Association released its 2010 “State of the Air” Report on Wednesday. The annual report looks at ozone and particle pollution in California and across the country.

More than nine out of ten Californians live in counties with failing air quality grades. The American Lung Association’s Jane Warner says California has led the country in fighting air pollution, but more Californians still die each year from air pollution than from car accidents. At the Wilshire/Western Metro stop in Los Angeles, Warner said this year's report gives California mixed reviews.

"While Los Angeles has ranked number one in the United States for ozone pollution in the past two years, it has seen the number of high ozone days drop 25 percent since the release of the 2000 report, " said Warner. "That's the good news."

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa cheered from the back. The mayor arrived at the announcement on an L.A. Metro bus in a nod to the American Lung Association’s first recommendation for cleaner air: driving one less day per week, and walking, biking or taking public transit instead.

L.A. Metro board chairman Ara Najerian also attended to say his agency is part of the solution. The American Lung Association also invited 10-year-old Jorge Campos of Union Avenue Elementary School to discuss the impact of air pollution:

"Already one million children in California have asthma, including almost half of the boys in our science club.," Campos said. "Why? Because our area is contaminated with carbon emissions, and it’s even worse if you live near a freeway or go to schools in high traffic areas."

The American Lung Association offered a list of 10 easy things people can do to help clean the air. It included idling less in vehicles on the road, using a propane or natural gas grill for outdoor grilling, and avoiding burning wood.

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