Week 9: How polluted is Los Angeles?

This past week we got a chance to listen Maru Garcia and listen to her talk on the contamination in East Los Angeles and how so many people were not aware of the dangerous toxins that are present near us. Of the 10,000 properties in East LA that include school and residential areas , only 700 have been treated for lead contamination.


I did further research to understand the pollution in Los Angeles, and over the last 30 years,  air quality has significantly fallen in California. Many parts of the state are still riddled with air quality problems. Los Angeles county remains one of the most polluted regions in the nation. The most dangerous pollutants are ground-level ozone, lead, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides. These pollutants are felt to be of particular importance because of their potential to cause health problems in humans and damage the environment.


Among all L.A. neighborhoods, Chinatown has the highest risk of unhealthy air. Its rating rose into the range considered unhealthy for sensitive groups 147 times during the year studied. The area with the most hours of healthy air was Altadena, at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains. A close second is 20 miles east — Glendora, near the Angeles National Forest.


Efforts to control pollution are necessary to ensure that our air meets state and federal air quality standards. As citizens of this city, we all should do our part and try and keep the city air as clean as possible. We can take small steps like taking the public transportation and using cycle for small distances. These small steps would really help us make Los Angeles less polluted.


Guerin, Emily. “Take A Deep Breath And Read About How Bad LA Smog Really Is.” LAist, laist.com/2018/10/03/take_a_deep_breath_and_read_about_how_bad_la_smog_really_is.php.

Rice, Doyle. “Bad Air Days on the Rise: The Nation's Most Polluted City Is ...” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 24 Apr. 2019, www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/04/24/air-pollution-smog-soot-worst-california/3551734002/.

Criteria Air Pollutants - Toxicology and Environmental Assessment | Los Angeles County Department of Public Health - Environmental Health, publichealth.lacounty.gov/eh/TEA/ToxicEpi/criteriaairpollutants.htm.

“Pollution in Los Angeles.” Pollution in Los Angeles, CA, www.numbeo.com/pollution/in/Los-Angeles.

“Is It Hard to Breathe in Your Corner of Los Angeles County?” USC News, 15 June 2018, news.usc.edu/144493/air-pollution-in-los-angeles-county-neighborhoods/.

Picture Sources:

Gunaratna, Shanika. “This State Has the Worst Air Quality in the Nation.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 21 June 2017, www.cbsnews.com/news/worst-air-quality-california/.

Schneyer, Joshua. “Exclusive: Lead Poisoning Afflicts Neighborhoods across California.” Reuters, Thomson Reuters, 22 Mar. 2017, www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-lead-california-exclusive/exclusive-lead-poisoning-afflicts-neighborhoods-across-california-idUSKBN16T18Y.

“Los Angeles Just Set a New Record for Bad Air Quality.” The Weather Channel, weather.com/health/news/2018-09-28-los-angeles-bad-air-quality-record.