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Fighting Smog in Los Angeles

Smog covers the city of Los Angeles.

Smog covers the city of Los Angeles. Three million people in the greater Los Angeles area are living with asthma, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other smog-related diseases.

Photo courtesy of Jordan / Flickr

What’s at Stake

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.

Overview

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.

Case Updates

November 8, 2017 | Legal Document

Court Ruling: Southern California Court Rules Against Air Board’s Decision to Adopt Weak Amendments to Controversial Cap-and-Trade Program

The Los Angeles Superior Court issued a ruling against the South Coast Air Quality Management District for making last-minute changes to NOx RECLAIM, the district’s controversial air pollution program. In the decision, the Court finds that the air district violated California law back in December 2015 when they rejected staff-proposed reforms to the program and instead adopted a far weaker oil industry-backed measure just hours after it was made public.