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Air Pollution

December 14, 2012 | By Neela Banerjee, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration announced a new air pollution standard Friday that would bring about a 20% reduction in microscopic particles of soot emitted by coal-fired power plants and diesel vehicles that contribute to haze and respiratory ailments. The new limit, fought by industry and welcomed by environmentalists, marks the first time the Environmental Protection Agency tightened the soot standard since it was established 15 years ago. "These standards are fulfilling the promise of the Clean Air Act," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.
July 12, 2013 | By Monte Morin
Global air pollution contributes to the premature deaths of more than 2 million adults each year, according to new research. In a study published Friday in the journal Environmental Research Letters , scientists used a number of mathematical models to estimate the effects of fine particulate matter -- tiny particles, or soot, that penetrate deep into the lungs -- and ozone, the main component of smog. The estimate is smaller than most previous calculations, which pegged pollution-related deaths at more than 3 million a year.
December 13, 2013 | By Tony Barboza
Smog is an irritation for anyone living in Los Angeles, but exactly where in the city you live can make a huge difference in your in your exposure to the tiniest air pollutants , a new study has found. The study by UCLA researchers compared four Los Angeles neighborhoods and found striking disparities in levels of air pollutants known as ultrafine particles, even over short distances. A zone of the Westside neighborhood of Mar Vista that sits downwind of Santa Monica Airport, for instance, has much higher levels of those pollutants in the air than the Eastside's freeway-choked Boyle Heights, according to the study . UCLA researchers drove an electric Toyota RAV4 equipped with air pollution monitors through residential streets in Boyle Heights, downtown, West Los Angeles and a part of Mar Vista known as North Westdale.
August 31, 2012 | By Neela Banerjee
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration on Friday said that it would grant Royal Dutch Shell a one-year air pollution permit for an Arctic drilling rig, further bolstering the possibility that over the next two months Shell will start its controversial project to drill for oil off the Alaska coast .  The Environmental Protection Agency granted the permit in response to a Shell request for a waiver from current air pollution regulations for the...
June 1, 2011 | By Amanda Mascarelli, HealthKey
Along with the lazy and often hazy days of summer come some not-so-pleasant health risks from exposure to air pollution. Ed Avol, a professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at USC, has been studying the links between respiratory health and air pollution for 35 years. In this edited interview conducted May 19, Avol spoke about the factors that can lead to poor air quality during the summer months and how people can limit their exposure to pollution. What factors make pollution so severe in the summertime?
December 10, 2013 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - In a regional air pollution battle with partisan overtones, the Obama administration appeared to make headway Tuesday in persuading the Supreme Court to allow tougher federal environmental standards to prevent ozone and other emissions from coal-producing Midwestern and Southern states from wafting over Northeastern states. The politically charged dispute pits the Obama administration and environmentalists against mostly Republican-led states with less stringent industrial pollution controls, as well as the electric power industry.
February 2, 2013 | By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times
BEIJING - Bad air is good news for many Chinese entrepreneurs. From gigantic domes that keep out pollution to face masks with fancy fiber filters, purifiers and even canned air, Chinese businesses are trying to find a way to market that most elusive commodity: clean air. An unprecedented wave of pollution throughout China (dubbed the "airpocalypse" or "airmageddon" by headline writers) has spawned an almost entirely new industry. The biggest ticket item is a huge dome that looks like a cross between the Biosphere and an overgrown wedding tent.
March 25, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
Air pollution kills about 7 million people a year and is linked to 1 in 8 deaths worldwide, according to a report released Tuesday by the World Health Organization. The finding more than doubles previous estimates “and confirms that air pollution is now the world's largest single environmental health risk,” the agency said. An estimated 4.3 million people died in 2012 as a result of indoor air pollution, mostly from cooking inside with coal or wood stoves in developing countries, according to the report by the public health agency of the United Nations.
March 28, 2013 | By Anna Gorman
Researchers have linked air pollution and birth defects among pregnant women in the San Joaquin Valley, according to a study by Stanford University School of Medicine. The study looked at women between 1997 and 2006, including 806 whose pregnancies were impacted by birth defects and 849 not impacted. Researchers determined that the women who spent their early weeks of pregnancy living in areas with worse air pollution had a higher risk of having a birth defect in their babies.
October 2, 2013 | By Tony Barboza
Nearly one-fifth of the U.S. population lives near a high-volume road where pollution levels are typically elevated from vehicle exhaust, a new study says. The analysis found 60 million people living within about one-third of a mile from a busy road. In California, 40% of the population lives that close to traffic, the highest of any state. “It's a surprisingly large proportion of the population,” said Gregory Rowangould, a professor of engineering at the University of New Mexico who used U.S. Census and Department of Transportation traffic data to conduct the nationwide tally.
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