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Freeway Air Pollution Travels Farther than Previously Thought

Source:  Copyright 2013, Environmental News Network
Date:  April 22, 2013
Original URL: Status ONLINE

Los Angeles is known not only for its celebrity clientele, but also for its congested roadways and heavy traffic, which consequently has led to severely polluted air, and the title of the "smoggiest city" in the United States. While air quality has improved somewhat in LA, a joint study by UCLA and the California Air Resources Board suggests that nearly a quarter of Angelenos are exposed to noxious plumes of freeway fumes almost every morning, far more people than previously thought.

Researchers found that overnight atmospheric conditions concentrate freeway pollutants in a plume stretching 1.5 kilometers (approximately 0.93 miles) downwind. These pollutants can seep inside homes and buildings, and lingering as late as 10 a.m. Although closed windows can help block particles from entering homes, previous studies have shown that indoor pollution levels still reach 50 to 70 percent of outdoor levels, the researchers noted.

This study shows that the same effect ...

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