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Better Air Quality Reducing Cancer Risk by Half

Posted on October 07, 2014
by Wendy Stackhouse

Some great news for those of us who live and work in the L.A. Basin–great strides have been made in improving our air quality!

The South Coast Air Quality Management District is reporting that between 2005 and 2012, measured levels of cancer causing particulates in our air have been significantly reduced. Their computer models predict that the estimated number of persons-per-million who will develop cancer due to those particulates has gone down from 1,194 to 418 over that period.

Barry Wallerstein, executive officer of the South Coast Air Quality Management District, calls it “one of the region’s greatest achievements in pollution control, according to Southern California Public Radio.

But we still have a long way to go. Right now, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment is preparing new guidelines for cancer risk to be published in 2015 which are expected to show that air pollution is more dangerous than previously believed. So while incredible improvements have been made, it has become even more crucial that we continue on down the road to cleaner air.

How can we help reduce air pollution in our environment?

  • Drive less, bike and walk more
  • Take public transportation
  • Don’t idle when waiting to pick up kids from school or other activities
  • Reduce energy usage at home
  • Observe no-burn days
  • Follow smog regulations for your car

The air has improved tremendously in Los Angeles in recent years, but the importance of improving our air quality only increases. The more we know, the more we know we have to do better.

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