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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Southern California

L.A. Air Pollution Among Nation's Worst

The annual State of the Air report still shows improvements in air quality.

Despite improving air quality, Southern California still has among the worst air pollution in the U.S., according to the American Lung Association's annual State of the Air report.

Los Angeles County earned a grade of 'F' for ozone and particle pollution, while the state as a whole also fared poorly.

California had seven out of the top 10 American cities the most ozone pollution and eight of the top ten cities with the worst annual particle pollution.

L.A. County received an 'F' grade for ozone and particle pollution. (Chang'r/Flickr)
L.A. County received an 'F' grade for ozone and particle pollution. (Chang'r/Flickr)

The low marks for air quality nevertheless showed improvement, according to Jane Warner, president and chief executive of the American Lung Association's California chapter.

"This progress in cleaning up air pollution demonstrates that our clean air laws are working. However, our report also shows that air pollution continues to put lives at risk throughout the state,'' said Warner.

Since the first State of the Air report in 2000, ozone levels in L.A. County have fallen by 36 percent and short-term particle pollution levels have dropped by two-thirds. Particle pollution has dropped by 43 percent.

Elsewhere in the golden state, Bakersfield-Delano had the worst short-term particle pollution, with Fresno-Madera having the second-worst.

The American Lung Association's report comes as Senate Bill 11 and Assembly Bill 8 are up for debate in Sacramento. Both bills would maintain air quality improvement incentives for 10 more years.

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