Friday, September 28, 2012

Health consequences of air pollution in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is one of the U.S. cities most affected with air pollution. California, in general, is one of the U.S. states with major air pollution issue as there are three cities in Golden State that are ranked among top ten most polluted cities in United States – Los Angeles, Bakersfield, and Visalla-Porterville.

Los Angeles is characterized with heavy traffic – plenty of cars in combination with plenty of sunshine results in highly polluted air.

The latest study by the University of Southern California says that air pollution has serious health consequences on L.A. residents. In fact, at least 8 percent of the more than 300,000 cases of childhood asthma in Los Angeles County can be linked to traffic-related air pollution at homes within 250 feet of a busy roadway.

Children are particularly sensitive to polluted air and plenty of children in L.A. county lives near major traffic corridors. The chronic effects of air pollution on respiratory health have been well documented with plenty of different studies, with children usually being the most affected.

Asthma may not be the only disease resulting from excessive air pollution. Rob McConnell, professor of preventive medicine, Keck School of Medicine of USC, warned that „other diseases may be caused or exacerbated by urban air pollution, including atherosclerosis, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and neurological disorders.“

Polluted air in California accounts each year for around $193 million in hospital costs according to the Rand Corporation study, with Los Angeles spending the most money in nation on air pollution-related ailments.

Current estimates say that air pollution kills around 25,000 people each year in California. This means that the state of California must come up with new clean air polices in order to ensure healthy living for its residents.

The possible solutions include reducing traffic, using electric or hybrid cars or traveling with public transport, encourage walking, etc.

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