Three million people in the greater Los Angeles area are living with asthma, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other smog-related diseases.
Asthma alone is crippling the region, with prevalence rates that double that of the national average.
Every year, more people die in Southern California from air pollution-related diseases than from all traffic accidents and crime-related deaths combined, according to the air district’s own educational material.
The South Coast air basin is classified as “extreme” for all ozone standards under California and federal clean air laws. There is no classification more polluted than “extreme.”
Breathing ozone can trigger a variety of health problems in children and adults, including chest pain, coughing, and congestion. Smog can worsen bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma. Repeated exposure may permanently scar lung tissue, aggravate lung diseases such as asthma, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis, lead to hospital admissions and emergency room visits, and impair the body’s immune system defenses.