Santa Monica Airport (SMO) pollutes the air with toxic jet emissions as well as with toxic lead from piston aircraft. Elevated levels have been measured in the downwind community and on the tarmac. The City of Santa Monica is well aware of these studies and well aware of the more than two decades of community complaints regarding the jet fumes.
When jets idle and when they take off they are gross polluters. One can be overcome by the strong kerosene-like odor coming in the open windows and doors of their homes. Jets start their engines in the start-up area and travel approximately 700 yards to the hold line and wait for clearance from the LAX tower to take off, all the while they pollute the downwind air at and around the airport including the airport's observation decks. Piston aircraft pollute too. Piston aircraft burn leaded gasoline; the same gasoline banned for use in automobiles. Exposure to lead is especially dangerous to children. If you are interested in learning more about the toxic threat from Santa Monica Airport, I urge that you listen to the scientific testimony at:
November, 2011 CA State Senate Select Committee on Air Quality Hearing focused on the airport.
One would think that the City of Santa Monica, a city renown for efforts to be environmentally friendly, would have stepped up to the pro-active plate and demanded that this critical environmental toxic situation be dealt with. How many of us have heard about Santa Monica's efforts to ban smoking cigarettes in areas where cigarette smoke could be unhealthful? Most of us, if not all of us have. Now, how many of us have picked up a paper and read about the City of Santa Monica's efforts to even bring to light the SMO pollution elephant in the room? I haven't , and I have had my eyes and ears wide open for more than fifteen years.
So what does the City go ahead and do that slaps in the face of the community concerns regarding toxic emissions from their airport?
Last week I noticed highlighted on the Santa Monica Airport's website homepage the following:
"Come view the beautiful winter sunsets from the Santa Monica Airport's Observation Decks."
Are you kidding me? Who decides what is appropriate to post on the Santa Monica Airport's website?
Instead of a Prop 65 warning visitors to the observation deck that the air sometimes contains chemicals known to the state to cause cancer and birth defects, they entice unsuspecting people to check out the beautiful sunset from the airport's observation decks. I've been to the observation decks, and they are frequently visited by the very strong odor of jet fumes. No thank you; I prefer to view beautiful sunsets from places with beautiful or at least acceptable air quality.
Attached to this article are photos that go along with this blog submission.
After reviewing this material and hopefully watching the testimony of the scientists, you can better make an informed decision as to Santa Monica Airport's contribution to Westside air pollution.
I strongly recommend that if you do visit the SMO observation decks, consider bringing gas masks along for each member of your entourage.