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Particulate Matter

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2006 | Janet Wilson, Times Staff Writer
The number of deaths from breathing sooty smog in California may be more than twice as high as previously estimated, based on a recent USC study that examined the risk of such deaths in the Los Angeles Basin. A team of researchers headed by Michael Jerrett, associate professor of preventive medicine, found two to three times greater risk of mortality from heart attacks, lung cancer and other serious illness tied to chronic exposure to fine particulate matter than did previous studies.
ARTICLES BY DATE
OPINION
April 24, 2014 | By Francesca Dominici, Michael Greenstone and Cass R. Sunstein
Last week, a divided court of appeals upheld what may well be the most important environmental rule in the nation's history: the Environmental Protection Agency's mercury standards. The regulation is expected to prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths, 4,700 heart attacks and 130,000 asthma attacks a year. Critics of the mercury rule have focused on its expense. The EPA estimates it will cost $9.6 billion a year, with most of the burden falling on electric utilities. Indeed, the issue of cost is what split the court.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 21, 2011 | By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times
A coalition of environmental groups is suing three companies that operate 17 rail yards throughout California, looking to eliminate the toxic diesel particulate emissions spewed by locomotives and trucks over surrounding communities. In a complaint filed this week in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, the coalition demanded that Union Pacific Corp., Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC and BNSF Railway Co. replace older, more polluting locomotives and trucks with newer, cleaner models; prohibit idling near residences; and adopt technologies designed to reduce diesel soot.
SCIENCE
February 4, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
As if it weren't bad enough to breathe already, a new study has detected traces of more than 1,300 species of microbes in some of Beijing's most polluted air. Most of the microbes detected by scientists were harmless bacteria that are commonly found in soil. But the study found some bacteria and fungi that are known to cause allergies and respiratory diseases. Some of those pathogens were found in higher proportions in air samples collected on the smoggiest days. Chinese researchers conducted the analysis because they were familiar with the health consequences of air pollution and wanted to know if it contained allergens and pathogens that could be adding to the problem.
WORLD
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.
WORLD
December 7, 2011 | By Barbara Demick and John Lee, Los Angeles Times
  Whether it's fog or smog, thousands of people have been delayed during the last few days by the almost-opaque air around Beijing Capital International Airport. The delays since Sunday evening at one of the busiest, most modern airports in the world raise questions about whether air pollution in China has gotten bad enough to derail the country's economic growth. Nearly 1,000 flights have been canceled and 10 highways in northern China had to be closed due to lack of visibility.
SCIENCE
February 4, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
As if it weren't bad enough to breathe already, a new study has detected traces of more than 1,300 species of microbes in some of Beijing's most polluted air. Most of the microbes detected by scientists were harmless bacteria that are commonly found in soil. But the study found some bacteria and fungi that are known to cause allergies and respiratory diseases. Some of those pathogens were found in higher proportions in air samples collected on the smoggiest days. Chinese researchers conducted the analysis because they were familiar with the health consequences of air pollution and wanted to know if it contained allergens and pathogens that could be adding to the problem.
OPINION
January 12, 2013
Re "Joining the EPA's war on soot," Editorial, Jan. 2 The Times notes that "coal plants and diesel engines have begun the work of reducing soot" but left out how much has been accomplished. According to the California Air Resources Board, particulate-matter emissions from heavy-duty diesel trucks declined from 7.5% of all such emissions in the entire state in 1990 to 3.8% in 2008 and will be just 1.6% in 2020. The diesel truck share of particulate-matter emissions in the South Coast Air Basin decreased from 7% in 2005 to 3% in 2011.
OPINION
April 24, 2014 | By Francesca Dominici, Michael Greenstone and Cass R. Sunstein
Last week, a divided court of appeals upheld what may well be the most important environmental rule in the nation's history: the Environmental Protection Agency's mercury standards. The regulation is expected to prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths, 4,700 heart attacks and 130,000 asthma attacks a year. Critics of the mercury rule have focused on its expense. The EPA estimates it will cost $9.6 billion a year, with most of the burden falling on electric utilities. Indeed, the issue of cost is what split the court.
NEWS
July 11, 2013 | By Jay Jones
Air quality in the Las Vegas area, which had been adversely affected by a nearby wildfire, improved Thursday, prompting officials to downgrade an alert from unhealthful to moderate. Conditions are expected to remain that way through the weekend. More good news for firefighters and weekend Vegas visitors: Thunderstorms predicted for Thursday could cleanse the air --but the storm also could create a new threat. Smoke from the Carpenter 1 fire, which grew overnight to almost 28,000 acres in the Spring Mountains northwest of the city, could pose a threat largely to at-risk individuals, such as children, the elderly and those with respiratory ailments, officials said.
WORLD
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.
OPINION
January 12, 2013
Re "Joining the EPA's war on soot," Editorial, Jan. 2 The Times notes that "coal plants and diesel engines have begun the work of reducing soot" but left out how much has been accomplished. According to the California Air Resources Board, particulate-matter emissions from heavy-duty diesel trucks declined from 7.5% of all such emissions in the entire state in 1990 to 3.8% in 2008 and will be just 1.6% in 2020. The diesel truck share of particulate-matter emissions in the South Coast Air Basin decreased from 7% in 2005 to 3% in 2011.
SCIENCE
December 4, 2012 | Bettina Boxall
A new study links even small reductions in fine particle air pollution to increased life expectancy.   Researchers who compared data from 545 counties across the U.S., including many in California, found that a drop in fine particulate matter , known as PM2.5, between 2000 and 2007 corresponded with an average rise in life expectancy of 0.35 of a year. The study, led by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, is described as the largest to date to find public health benefits from ongoing reductions in U.S. air pollution levels.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 9, 2012 | By Bob Pool, Los Angeles Times
Silver Lake residents can't wait for this construction job to bite the dust. More than two dozen residents living along the path of a $40-million water pipe project say they are suffering respiratory problems from particulate matter stirred up by construction trucks and heavy-duty trenching machines. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is replacing a massive neighborhood water conduit as part of a larger, federally mandated plan to retire the Silver Lake and Ivanhoe reservoirs, which are exposed to airborne contaminants.
WORLD
December 7, 2011 | By Barbara Demick and John Lee, Los Angeles Times
  Whether it's fog or smog, thousands of people have been delayed during the last few days by the almost-opaque air around Beijing Capital International Airport. The delays since Sunday evening at one of the busiest, most modern airports in the world raise questions about whether air pollution in China has gotten bad enough to derail the country's economic growth. Nearly 1,000 flights have been canceled and 10 highways in northern China had to be closed due to lack of visibility.
SCIENCE
December 4, 2012 | Bettina Boxall
A new study links even small reductions in fine particle air pollution to increased life expectancy.   Researchers who compared data from 545 counties across the U.S., including many in California, found that a drop in fine particulate matter , known as PM2.5, between 2000 and 2007 corresponded with an average rise in life expectancy of 0.35 of a year. The study, led by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, is described as the largest to date to find public health benefits from ongoing reductions in U.S. air pollution levels.
NEWS
June 3, 1987 | LARRY B. STAMMER, Times Staff Writer
In a long-awaited action, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will impose a new federal air quality standard that proponents said Tuesday will lead to not only more healthful air but bluer skies by controlling small suspended particles in the atmosphere. The particulate matter rule, to be announced today in Washington and take effect immediately, is expected to lead to new controls on oil refineries and power plants--even char-broil restaurants and livestock waste.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 21, 2011 | By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times
A coalition of environmental groups is suing three companies that operate 17 rail yards throughout California, looking to eliminate the toxic diesel particulate emissions spewed by locomotives and trucks over surrounding communities. In a complaint filed this week in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, the coalition demanded that Union Pacific Corp., Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC and BNSF Railway Co. replace older, more polluting locomotives and trucks with newer, cleaner models; prohibit idling near residences; and adopt technologies designed to reduce diesel soot.
NEWS
July 29, 2011 | By Daniela Hernandez, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Riding the Metro could save you from more than just exorbitant tabs at the pump and the occasional fit of road rage. It could mean breathing cleaner air on your way to work. In a study of the air quality experienced by L.A. commuters, first place went to air collected on the Gold Line, which runs mostly aboveground. The Red Line, which runs underground, came in second. The air quality for both is likely better than you'll encounter if you're driving on the freeway, the authors said.
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