Los Angeles Pollution Facts: Is It So Bad And How It Affects Citizens | Kidadl
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Los Angeles Pollution Facts: Is It So Bad And How It Affects Citizens

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Finding what you need all in one place is hard, but here you will find all there is to know about Los Angeles pollution.

Pollution has become amongst the key concerns today, and the issue needs to be resolved earliest. With countries, the pollution level differs, and so does their management system. But what is common in all kinds of pollution are toxic and harmful to humans, plants, and animals.

Be it any form of pollution, we all know it is harmful and destructive. So, who is the culprit? It’s us. It’s our car emission, industrial emission, it is the act of construction and demolition, burning garbage waste and other causes. But the root of the problem is humans. While we may reside in different countries and different corners of the globe, pollution does not care! Its harmful effects are grave, and so, today, it has become more important than ever to address the issue at hand.

Los Angeles has the nation’s worst ozone pollution! It’s time to talk extensively about it and act.

Los Angeles Air Pollution: Trends

California’s largest city, Los Angeles, is not as beautiful as people worldwide would take it to be. It houses the United States’ worst ozone pollution, but its air quality has lessened in recent years.

Embodying a population of over 10million people, Los Angeles is a ravine valley that compasses mountains to its east and south, spanning 11,220 ft (3,419.9 m) and a pacific ocean to its west. This large basin is thus receptive to high ozone levels.

The foremost and primary delinquents for air pollution in Los Angeles are transportation pollution, ports, and industries. Additionally, the climate, too, has its role. Because LA does not experience much rain and most days are sunny, which gives rise to stratospheric ozone and the debris and dust particles that accumulate in the air. Air pollution maps indicate a correlation between the Air Quality Index (AQI) and stratospheric ozone share.

The build-up of smog in the atmosphere is another problem. But what is smog, and why does it occur? Smog is formed when the primary pollutants, such as those discharged from vehicles and secondary pollutants, created from the amalgamation of ultraviolet rays and primary pollutants, intertwine. So the hefty mist you see swirling over the entire place is smog. While the ozone layer has its function and contribution in shielding the earth from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, excessive ozone can cause appalling issues.

Los Angeles is also a victim of the ‘Pollution Dome,’ wherein the fatal particles stagnated in the city’s center. As a consequence of this pollution dome, a cluster of pernicious gasses, including greenhouses gas, methane, and carbon dioxide, are accumulated. What’s more, this accumulation of carbon dioxide over LA is the strongest in the entire globe, proven by research. This cluster is so strong it is detected even by the satellite.

The above information clarifies the gravity of the problem, and subsequently, this has raised many concerns. A survey was conducted in 2011 by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) in California, wherein 45% of the answers showed that they considered the air pollution in LA a grave issue, and also 47% of the respondents were of the view that LA’s quality has deteriorated from the past ten years.

The 2018 survey by the same organization disclosed that 72% of adults in California supported the law regarding diminishing greenhouse gas emissions. Other 56% back the state’s 'cap-and-trade-program'. Further, over a fair half of the people of California strongly hold that the state’s policies concerning climate will increase jobs.

Asthma And Air Pollution

Air pollution also causes serious human health problems such as Asthma attacks. Air pollutants present outdoors, indoor air pollutants, air toxics, diesel emissions, motor vehicles, or traffic density all result in unhealthy air. They are harmful to public health and respiratory health and cause respiratory diseases and children’s health issues.

Not just that, lung cancer is a possibility, too. The pollution levels are rising in Los Angeles county, and we have to act now before it’s too late to redo the damage.

In Asthma, the patient’s airways swell, narrow, and generate extra mucus. As a result, the patient shows symptoms of difficulty breathing, frequent coughing, and gasping. At present, around 300 million people worldwide are fighting Asthma, and its pervasiveness is perpetually elevating.

Air Pollution is among the primary triggers of Asthma. Anything from debris, pollens, and animal dander to fragrances can further Asthma. So how is Asthma affected by air pollution? The ozone gas is widely prevalent and is among the primary air pollutants. It is the main contributor to creating smog and is quotidian during summers or when the airflow is at its minimum. The ozone cluster is a well-known cause of many health problems, including Asthma. It is also obstructing lung function. These air particles get into our lungs via our nose or mouth and cause serious health problems.

While much of the research is yet to be done on this subject, a substantial amount of research has proved that air pollutants can cause Asthma in both adults and children.

Children’s Long-Term (Chronic) Effects Of Air Pollution

Air pollution is the foremost reason for many health problems. Sometimes they don’t just result in a temporary cough or fever but also long-term chronic issues in adults and children. It is so serious that, as per WHO, acute lower respiratory infections caused around 600,000 deaths in children in 2016.

The air pollution has not left unborn children either. If pregnant women come in contact with these air pollutants, the child is likely to be premature and light-weighted. But why are children more vulnerable to the diseases caused by air pollutants? One cause for this is that the pace of breathing in children is faster than the adults, so they breathe in more air pollutants.

The childrens’ cognitive results are also adversely affected by the air pollutants. Further, children’s lung function is also hampered even by the low amount of contact with air pollutants. Over 40% of children worldwide are exposed to air pollutants at home, sources being the polluted ways of cooking. Cancer is among the most dangerous and severe chronic outcomes of exposure to a high level of air toxins.

Here is the list of health problems from air pollution:

  • Cardiovascular and respiratory illness
  • Stress to heart and lungs
  • Damaged cells in the respiratory system
  • Aged lungs
  • Depreciated lung function
  • Diseases such as Asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and possibly cancer
  • Shortened life span

So, what can be done to prevent this fatal exposure? Many are not aware of the lethal effects of air pollution, and thus this should be the first step. The government, doctors, or the readers, spread the word and do your bit. Further, we should all seek environmental justice, and governments should take up more effective policies to reduce air pollution and save lives.

WHO has released its guidelines which should be referred to by every possible person who has access to the internet. Mangasting our waste in a much more responsible way that we can be helpful. Also, be a better consumer, but the technology will not pollute the air. Remember, it starts with you, and only small steps will result in a significant change.

California Air Resources Board is working to reduce pollution levels.

Acute Effects Of Air Pollution

When we refer to nature, we often picture ourselves in a relaxing mode with a serene aura. But we forget that while nature has so much to offer us, what do we have to give to nature? Pollute it, and then it backfires.

While it’s apparent that we don’t intentionally pollute the environment and it’s out of necessity, we are still responsible. Yes, WE CAN change the cycle of doing things out of compulsion. For that, it’s imperative you know the acute effects of air pollution.

Air pollution is well connected with acute respiratory problems. What are these acute problems? This might include anything from developing allergies, depreciated lung function, and even full respiratory failure. Proportionately, a stagnation in air pollution will also result in a low number of sick people who may develop some of the most serious problems like cardiovascular and respiratory; after all, a healthy workforce is a key to progress.

The World Health Organization has released its health parameters and guidelines. It has been brought to light that in the year 2019, a whopping 99% population was residing under the WHO’s assigned levels. In 016, both outdoor and indoor pollution became the cause of the premature deaths of 4.3 million children, the maximum of these occurring in South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions. One can fall prey to lower respiratory infections, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lung cancer.

Air Pollution And Low Socioeconomic Status Communities In California

Who knew air pollution could also discriminate and prove to be more deadly for the low socio-economic status communities than for the affluent. This discrimination is due to the poor condition in which people reside.

Their level of exposure to the toxins in the air is much higher than the rest of the society because of their living conditions and their work. As a result, these marginalized communities are more prone to develop health problems via air pollution.

What’s more, is a report by the U.S. The Environmental Protection Agency revealed that Black people have a greater chance of contracting air pollution-borne diseases. But how is that possible? Due to the constant discrimination faced by them, Black people have been circumcised to reside in areas with greater subjection to air pollution.

Moreover, the risk of premature deaths from air pollution is higher within families carrying low socio-economic status. The place of origin for many toxins is where most houses of marginalized people reside due to class bias and the inability to afford better living conditions. Also, low socio-economic status communities have a disadvantage in regards to accessing proper medical care, which is because of poor jobs and poor salaries, due to which, they are forced to ignore most symptoms.

The Environmental Protection Agency of the U.S. has released its online map, EJSCREEN, which sheds light on the low socio-economic communities that are prone to air pollution and at greater risk throughout the nation. As per the map, the locations that face the highest risk of getting harmed due to air pollution and being a victim of environmental justice are - nearby areas of Southeast Los Angeles County and regions in San Joaquin Valley and Inland Empire. As has also been laid down above, the reason is unequal access to health benefits, impoverished residential areas, and poor jobs.

Around northern California, this city with its diesel engines is one of the leaded gasoline-consuming cities. The sea breezes make it feel good, but sulfur oxides and the south coast air can be harmful to older people and young children. It is important to reduce emissions of these gasses. Sulfur dioxide is one of the main culprits of bad health. Sulfur dioxide is a gaseous air pollutant composed of sulfur and oxygen and increases smog levels.

The air report of this city is not in a very good state. The air report says that this city has one of the worst smog levels. It even causes climate change. The burning of fossil fuels is speeding up climate change. Soon, the Los Angeles skyline will be the only thing that will look beautiful. The rising temperatures due to vehicle emissions or tailpipe emissions result in the increasing temperature of the environment, thus building global warming. Even indoor air pollution is a real thing today. It is important to plant power plants.

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Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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