The American Lung Association released its annual report on the state of our local air on Wednesday.
The good news is that smog and particulate pollution levels dropped substantially in Southern California over the last decade, but Los Angeles remains the worst place in the country for ozone pollution, violating federal health standards nearly 38 percent of the time. Ozone can irritate the lungs producing coughing, wheezing and airway inflammation.
One of the major reasons I moved to the Westside in 1980 was that compared to the rest of Los Angeles, the sea-scrubbed air is cleaner here. My first summer, I had to go to Hollywood frequently, and I found that my eyes would burn whenever I went there. It's good to find out that it's not just that my tolerance has grown but the air in our city has gotten measurably better.
Wednesday’s report was released as congressional Republicans are continuing their quest to decrease funding for the Environmental Protection Agency.
In Mar Vista, we can take the lead by electing a strong EPA advocate in our upcoming May 17 Congressional election. More importantly, our individual choices to adopt electric cars, ride bicycles, take pubic transit and to walk whenever we can will make an impact on our air.