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Old 02-27-2009, 04:43 AM
 
4 posts, read 13,952 times
Reputation: 10
Default Los Angeles and Orange County air quality!?

Hello I'm planning on doing college in Los Angeles and I have looked at different possibilities (Fullerton, Costa Mesa, Santa Monica, Mission Viejo, Long Beach)... Looking at the internet, though, I have found several websites (even government ones) where it says that air quality is so bad in LA/Orange County that during the summer on the days the air quality is worst, all people, regardless of whether they have asthma/lung problems, should avoid exercising too much, and should especially avoid outdoor exercise!! For me this just sounds very extreme!! I love to exercise, especially running outdoors and doing other high intensity exercise such as biking or lifting weights - if I move to OC does it mean it will harm my health if I do these things during the summer? Will I have to spend most time indoors to avoid damaging my health? What's the deal here? And please if anyone can tell me, of the cities I mentioned (fullerton, santa monica, long beach, costa mesa, mission viejo) how does air quality compare. Is there a big difference in air quality between the beach cities (such as costa mesa) and the cities more inland (such as fullerton)? Or is the difference negligeble? Usually on the ranking lists, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside rank no. 1 in worst air together, so I don't see how being close to the beach helps the air quality of Long Beach, but maybe it's different for Costa Mesa and other beach cities that are further away from central LA? Can anyone plz clarify these things for me in detail I would really appreciate it! Oh yea and can anyone tell me WHEN air pollution is at its worst? Is it several months per year (the summer months June July August?) or is it only a couple weeks/or only days, when one has to "avoid outdoor exercise"? Will living in OC for 3-4-5 years do any permanent/long-term damage to health or can it cause serious illness for someone who has NOT been exposed to pollutants during his/her entire life and exercises regularly?
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:05 AM
 
916 posts, read 2,237,344 times
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Air quality is better now than it has been in many years. Even by the port of Long Beach things are getting better. Last week with the new truck program there is an estimated 50% reduction in truck pollution and it will get better.

That said, Long Beach State is on the other side of the city and pollution is not an issue. Long Beach is defintitely and outdoor kind of place and Long Beach State is one of the top 2 cal state schools with San Luis Obispo.
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Old 02-27-2009, 10:09 AM
 
Location: LA
6,182 posts, read 11,601,957 times
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i lived nearly my whole 27 years in socal, mostly in OC. There are very few days where the smog will have a noticeable effect on your health. The closer you live to the coast, the less of an issue it will be. I attended CSUF and never had any problems with the pollution (we also had a number of top notch sports teams and the athletes practiced outside daily). In fact, I went to high school in corona, which is even further inland from fullerton, and played outdoor sports regularly and never really had any issues. I can remember a few days as a child where my lungs could feel the smog when I was breathing heavily, but that was a long time ago now and things are definitely getting better every year.

You have to remember that millions of people live here and that we never hear of people who just fall over dead from air pollution. Not only that, socal produces some of the best athletes in the country on a consistant basis. How damaging could the air possibly be if this is the case? If you have especially weak lungs you'll probably notice the smog, but otherwise you should be absolutely fine.
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Old 02-27-2009, 11:04 AM
 
Location: los angeles
5,031 posts, read 8,019,964 times
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I have lived in LA for over 30 years & have seen a big improvement in air quality yet the worst pollution in the US is here Due to the mountains & light winds, the LA basin will always be prone to bad air until electric cars become the norm.
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Old 02-27-2009, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Playa Del Rey, California
237 posts, read 458,226 times
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My relatives in the area said that in the 50's and 60's, the air would be so bad on summer days it would burn their eyes. The air quality has dramatically improved since then.

Having said that, still if you are in the middle of the city you will definately notice the smog on summer days! Especially if you've never been to LA before. I wouldn't dismiss that days like that would be bothersome if you have severe allergies or asthma.
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Old 02-27-2009, 04:00 PM
 
4 posts, read 13,952 times
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Thanks a lot of the replies but I'm still wondering, are there SPECIFIC days/weeks/months when the air quality is at it worst? Do you people in LA avoid working out during the summer because of the air quality? And what about the areas I mentioned? Would Costa Mesa be better than the other cities, simply because it is at the beach?
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Old 12-30-2009, 02:14 PM
 
241 posts, read 306,093 times
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I really LOL at the person who says that people just don't drop dead around LA from pollution.. sure.. but it's killing you slowly, shortening lifespan, battering endocrine, immune, cardiovascular, reproductive and other systems, not to mention widespread asthma. Just read about lung cancer in LA non-smokers... As much as I love Los Angeles, its nightlife and creativity of people who live here, I know it's time to go for me... When I can afford a house in Marina Del Ray AND a telecommuting job... may be I'll be back, but not until then. Don't want to kill myself. While I was a student, I took care of patients as a job... I noticed that patients who lived all their life in Los Angeles, especially in polluted areas tended to fall apart much earlier than patients who lived most of their life in places like Midwest, Northwest, overseas countries, etc.. LA had given me asthma in 3 years, while no one in my family ever had it (they don't live in LA).

A person might work out and not feel any effects--of course most likely you won't feel any effects right away. You'll feel them years down the road when you're diagnosed with some disease. I think it's OK to spend a couple of years in LA, but I don't think it's wise to do it longer.
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Old 12-30-2009, 02:42 PM
 
Location: LA
305 posts, read 529,161 times
Reputation: 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisJhs View Post
Hello I'm planning on doing college in Los Angeles and I have looked at different possibilities (Fullerton, Costa Mesa, Santa Monica, Mission Viejo, Long Beach)... Looking at the internet, though, I have found several websites (even government ones) where it says that air quality is so bad in LA/Orange County that during the summer on the days the air quality is worst, all people, regardless of whether they have asthma/lung problems, should avoid exercising too much, and should especially avoid outdoor exercise!! For me this just sounds very extreme!! I love to exercise, especially running outdoors and doing other high intensity exercise such as biking or lifting weights - if I move to OC does it mean it will harm my health if I do these things during the summer? Will I have to spend most time indoors to avoid damaging my health? What's the deal here? And please if anyone can tell me, of the cities I mentioned (fullerton, santa monica, long beach, costa mesa, mission viejo) how does air quality compare. Is there a big difference in air quality between the beach cities (such as costa mesa) and the cities more inland (such as fullerton)? Or is the difference negligeble? Usually on the ranking lists, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside rank no. 1 in worst air together, so I don't see how being close to the beach helps the air quality of Long Beach, but maybe it's different for Costa Mesa and other beach cities that are further away from central LA? Can anyone plz clarify these things for me in detail I would really appreciate it! Oh yea and can anyone tell me WHEN air pollution is at its worst? Is it several months per year (the summer months June July August?) or is it only a couple weeks/or only days, when one has to "avoid outdoor exercise"? Will living in OC for 3-4-5 years do any permanent/long-term damage to health or can it cause serious illness for someone who has NOT been exposed to pollutants during his/her entire life and exercises regularly?
---------------------------------------
Read article below!

Closer to the beach is better because we have always a slight onshore breeze, especially starting at about 2pm. (That onshore breeze helps keep the smog in the basin which is why we have an issue).

When the breeze turns around and comes from the desert toward the ocean (a Santa Ana condition) then the LA basin clears out and it is unbelievably beautiful.

West of the 405 is ideal. Loyola Marymount Univ? UCLA?

Unless you are ill now, you don't necessarily have to curtail your running. On the days when smog is bad in any big city, I would exercise inside.
Dont move next to a freeway.
And dont move to Houston, NYC, Pittsburgh, Philly, Atlanta, Dallas,et al.

Read this article!
Los Angeles Transportation Facts and Fiction: Smog - Freakonomics Blog - NYTimes.com
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Old 12-30-2009, 05:33 PM
 
687 posts, read 283,438 times
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The summer is the worst time of year for smog and it is the Valley's the are the worst and also farthest from the ocean breezes. My choice out of all the areas for better quality air would be Santa Monica. People jog up and down San Vincente all year long plus there is a place that people use for great aerobic activity called The Stairs in Santa Monica near Pacific Coast Highway.
Least smoggy time is winter through spring, but Los Angeles still has the worst air quality of any place in the nation no matter how improved things seem to be. Asthma is at an all time high especially for kids in L.A. and the Kern Valley.
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Old 12-30-2009, 11:04 PM
 
Location: Chicago
53 posts, read 82,015 times
Reputation: 39
I agree that summer is definitely the worst time of the year. This was sent home to me when I came back home one summer, since I'm at college in New England most of the year now, and went running. There was one of those freak August rain showers, and the next morning when I was jogging on a bridge and saw the mountains to the north (I live in Cerritos) I thought, wow, they're beautiful. Two days later, I went running again with a camera to take some snapshots of the mountains and discovered they'd faded entirely into the blue/gray haze of the sky. That's when I realized the power of rain to clear smog, and why rainless summers contribute to it so much.

(Cerritos is some ~30-35 miles or so from these mountains I was seeing, so I don't want to alarm you by implying that mountains 500 feet away vanished into thick smog or anything.)

I don't think that people really think about air quality when they work out, though. The summers are so pleasant here, dry and not humid, especially compared to those elsewhere, so I think people are generally out in droves.
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