Santa Monica News
SANTA MONICA—The Mar Vista community bordering the Santa Monica Airport (SMO) scored poorer air quality levels than areas in downtown Los Angeles and far worse than its Santa Monica neighbors, UCLA researchers found.
The study published in the December issue of “Atmospheric Environment” expanded upon prior research showing regional differences in air quality by revealing that differences could also be found at the neighborhood level.
UCLA researchers selected neighborhoods from two regions of
The study, titled “Neighborhood-scale air quality impacts of emissions from motor vehicles and aircraft,” primarily focused on measuring ultrafine particles that come from freshly emitted pollutants. These ultrafine particles are the tiniest type of airborne pollutant, measuring less than 0.1 microns in diameter, and are primarily pumped into the air by tailpipe emissions.
"Ultrafine particle pollutants have been receiving more attention recently from the scientific community," Professor Paulson of UCLA’s Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Department and Institute of the Environment and Sustainability told the Canyon News.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA), ultrafine particles of pollution “have widespread deposition within the respiratory tract” and therefore causes “concern that there may be adverse health effects associated with exposure to ultrafine particles.”
“The effects are all based on proximity to roadways,” explained Professor Paulson. This means that the closer a person is to a tailpipe’s emissions, the more acute the health effects of breathing the pollution are likely to be.
Unlike the larger-sized fine pollution particles, the EPA does not regulate ultrafine particles. None of the roadway pollutants, besides carbon monoxide, are currently being regulated because there has not been enough scientific research yet to set a health standard, the UCLA researcher stated. There has been a growing body of research linking inhalation of these tiny toxins to increased negative health effects such as asthma, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, low birth weight and pre-term births.
According to the study’s results, the North Westdale community had the highest concentrations of freshly emitted pollutants, followed by the high traffic areas of
"The North Westdale neighborhood is heavily impacted by aircraft activities at
North Westdale’s surrounding neighbors in the
Professor Paulson stated, “
The case is especially true for the community of
Although Los Angeles’ international airport, LAX, is a much larger and busier airport, compared to SMO there is “a much larger buffer zone between the airport and the neighboring communities,” so residents living in the areas by LAX are less impacted by the planes’ emissions, Professor Paulson said.
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