Los Angeles has yet again been named the most polluted city in American by the American Lung Association. You know we have it bad when the comforting words are “the number of days residents breathed the nation’s worst ozone levels was fewer than in previous years.”
The rankings in the study were based on ozone pollution levels that are produced when sunlight and heat are mixed with pollutants such as power plants and cars. Also studied were particle pollution levels, which are emitted from these sources. Of the 46 counties tested in California, 28 received a D grade or lower for “High Ozone Days.” Twenty counties were in the same grade bracket for “Particle Pollution.”
The statistics for Los Angeles County:
High Ozone Days
Ozone Grade: F
Orange Ozone Days: 158
Red Ozone Days: 35
Purple Ozone Days: 16
Particle Pollution Days
Orange Particle Days: 128
Red Particle Days: 14
Purple Particle Days: 0
Pollution can contribute to lung cancer, heart disease and asthma attacks, and are particularly dangerous to young children and senior citizens. There are 762,817 people suffering from asthma in LA County, 288,953 from chronic bronchitis, 114,234 from emphysema, and 498,089 from diabetes. And I date a smoker!
Of the three other places I’ve lived, Dona Ana County (New Mexico) wins as the cleanest, air-wise. They received an ozone grade of B, with only one orange ozone day and no red and purple ozone days. Hartford County (Connecticut) earned a grade of C, with six orange days and no reds or purples. Montgomery County (Maryland) received a D, with seven orange ozone days, one red, and zero purple. As far as particle pollution goes, Montgomery County got a C (four orange particle days, no reds or purples), Dona Ana County received a D (eight orange particle days, no reds or purples) and Hartford County got an F grade (16 orange particle days, no reds or purples).
If those statistics don’t make you want to get involved in environmental causes, I don’t know what will. Or you can join me in my move — Lake, Mendocino, Monterey and Santa Cruz counties, here we come!