Final phase of LAX air pollution study begins

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LAX at night.

The most extensive airport pollution study of its kind is in its final phases at Los Angeles International Airport.

Research began in 1999 when the region's largest airport decided to invest in examining what airplane fumes do to the surrounding neighborhoods. No other airport in the world has done anything like it.

For most Angelenos, cars are public enemy number one when it comes to smog and air pollution. However, environment experts point out that jet fuel is chock full of pollutants that may damage your health and contribute to global warming.

The project's final phase will see the Pasadena-based Tetra Tech company set up monitoring stations in El Segundo, Lennox, Playa Del Rey and Westchester.

They’ll measure carbon monoxide, particulate matter and a long list of other nasty things including sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and something ominous called "black carbon."

"This study will answer key questions about air pollution attributable to LAX," Dr. Joseph Lyou said in a statement. Lyou is the president and chief executive officer of the Coalition for Clean Air.

"Within the next year, we’ll have more air quality data from LAX than has been collected from any other airport in the world," Lyou said.

What the study won't measure is another source of pollution: all that car, shuttle and truck traffic in and out of the airport.

The final report should surface next spring.

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