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Old 12-14-2011, 12:30 PM
 
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My car definitely was turning brown in LA really quick... the air in LA STINKS... it smells not exactly like bleach, but like a mix of rotten stuff and chemicals...in San Berdoo or LA downtown area, the smog is so heavy you can't see the mountains at all often, neither you can see towntown skyscrapers clearly. One should not ask LA residents about smog, as one gets used to it and stops noticing (until the 1st asthma attack), but rather ask visitors from somewhere else.

But you have to understand that the smog is not just the VISIBLE thing--what you can't see, can be just as bad and worse for your health. LA smog is extreme right now--not as bad as in the 80s, but still extreme--I had to deal with 6 months asthmatic bronchitis I acquired after spending 2 months in LA after returning from the North--I only was able to beat it by moving away to clean air in remote areas of Sierra. Just looking at air quality numbers, on this very same city data website, is pretty telling. One should have no illusion that air is any better in Coastal areas of LA region--oil refineries are doing their job--the numbers are equally bad in Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, Downtown LA or San Bernardino or Perris.

Last edited by alexxiz; 12-14-2011 at 12:41 PM..
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Old 12-14-2011, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
1,045 posts, read 1,679,431 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexxiz View Post
My car definitely was turning brown in LA really quick... the air in LA STINKS... it smells not exactly like bleach, but like a mix of rotten stuff and chemicals...in San Berdoo or LA downtown area, the smog is so heavy you can't see the mountains at all often, neither you can see towntown skyscrapers clearly. One should not ask LA residents about smog, as one gets used to it and stops noticing (until the 1st asthma attack), but rather ask visitors from somewhere else.

But you have to understand that the smog is not just the VISIBLE thing--what you can't see, can be just as bad and worse for your health. .
LA does need to continue to clean up its air BUT people should NOT listen to visitors (or one-time temporary residents) who exagerate and have no clue what they are talking about.

LA used to get over 100 FIRST STAGE smog alerts per year in the 1970's. I don't think we've had one in nearly 10 years.

Finally, what SOME visitors do not understand is that LA/So.Calif. gets a natural haze due to its geography (basin next to ocean blocked by mountains). The Chumash Indians noticed this THOUSANDS of years ago when they named the area "the valley of smokes".

So many times if you can't see the mountains it is NOT smog, it's a natural haze.
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Old 12-14-2011, 01:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SalParadise View Post
LA does need to continue to clean up its air BUT people should NOT listen to visitors (or one-time temporary residents) who exagerate and have no clue what they are talking about.

LA used to get over 100 FIRST STAGE smog alerts per year in the 1970's. I don't think we've had one in nearly 10 years.

Finally, what SOME visitors do not understand is that LA/So.Calif. gets a natural haze due to its geography (basin next to ocean blocked by mountains). The Chumash Indians noticed this THOUSANDS of years ago when they named the area "the valley of smokes".

So many times if you can't see the mountains it is NOT smog, it's a natural haze.
Exaggerate? By no means.
Myself, I'm not a visitor and lived in LA for a total of 5 years before I finally moved away. I lived all over LA region, and in OC as well. The smog situation is horrible and the air is bad for health. A lot of people have asthma, and end up with pretty stuff... like lung polyps, eventually, that have to be surgically removed, etc. Something to consider if you're moving. The smog of LA ain't no natural smoke of the past, for sure.... I used to work in health care in LA and LA residents don't tend to last long compared to other cities (unless it is an industrial city)--due to exposure.
And yes, LA residents stop noticing the awful stench of LA suffocating air, so better ask a visitor. Especially those coming down 101 from the north or 5 from South--the smell of smog hits your nose soon past Ventura, or around Lake Elsinore, if you're coming from South. If you're coming after dark, you also see the cloud of haze you're entering as lights become murky and it feels different as you're breathing in the soup of chemicals.
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Old 12-14-2011, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
According to the American Lung Association, LA still has some of the worst air to breathe in the US.

Most Polluted Cities: State of the Air 2011 - American Lung Association

Maybe Bakersfield is worse.
LA has come a long way but there is plenty of room for improvement.

But don't forget that it was the EPA under then Pres. George Bush (and former Texas Gov) that blocked California from adopting more aggressive air pollution/ozone standards (otherwise we could be making more progress).

So no thanks to the idiot politicians your state has cranked out in recent years.
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:27 PM
 
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I wonder how much of the particulate comes from diesel trucks, from cars and from refineries percentage-wise... when you have refineries, port and their truck traffic cutting through the basin area, it's hard to do something.
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Old 12-14-2011, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,535,786 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexxiz View Post
I wonder how much of the particulate comes from diesel trucks, from cars and from refineries percentage-wise... when you have refineries, port and their truck traffic cutting through the basin area, it's hard to do something.
I'm from a small town up the coast of California, and never once has the smog affected me whether it is hiking, walking or jogging. FWIW the air's not that much different than any other big city I have lived in. Sounds like you are just being kind of a wimp. I had child-asthma too, so it's not like I'm not susceptible.
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:42 AM
 
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It's bad enough that a black dust will settle over your household items if you leave the windows open. We left our windows open in our Encino apartment recently, and the bottoms of our feet were black from all of the soot (or whatever it is in the air) that settled onto our hardwood floors. Gross! Our hair and clothes would also smell nasty after being outside for a while. The worst smell and soot we experienced was when we lived in Long Beach, near the water. I guess it was from the port pollution. The thing I hate about living in LA is that there is no such thing as "fresh air." Even when the air feels crisp and fresh, it still smells and you know it's dirty. I'm probably just spoiled since I grew up in Wisconsin, though.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
401 posts, read 654,959 times
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Yes, the air is definitely much improved from decades ago. This is due mainly to federal regulations requiring catalytic converters on autos and other clean air regs.

However, our air is not clean and we have a ways to go. We no longer have "red flag" days, but we still have many, many yellow days where the air is hazardous to "sensitive groups". The "sensitive group" includes ALL small children who's lungs are developing, as well as those with asthma and the elderly.

Though we've made tremendous progress, we still have a long way to go. Implementation of clean truck regulations will be the next big milestone, which will dramatically reduce particulates, which are linked to many health issues. Additionally, electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will also be a great benefit as their adoption rates go up.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,535,786 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summerwriter View Post
It's bad enough that a black dust will settle over your household items if you leave the windows open. We left our windows open in our Encino apartment recently, and the bottoms of our feet were black from all of the soot (or whatever it is in the air) that settled onto our hardwood floors. Gross! Our hair and clothes would also smell nasty after being outside for a while. The worst smell and soot we experienced was when we lived in Long Beach, near the water. I guess it was from the port pollution. The thing I hate about living in LA is that there is no such thing as "fresh air." Even when the air feels crisp and fresh, it still smells and you know it's dirty. I'm probably just spoiled since I grew up in Wisconsin, though.
Yeah that happens in all big cities I would assume. When I lived in Boston you got the same sticky black soot on anything that wasn't dusted regularly.
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:50 AM
jw2
 
2,028 posts, read 2,746,408 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summerwriter View Post
It's bad enough that a black dust will settle over your household items if you leave the windows open. We left our windows open in our Encino apartment recently, and the bottoms of our feet were black from all of the soot (or whatever it is in the air) that settled onto our hardwood floors. Gross! Our hair and clothes would also smell nasty after being outside for a while. The worst smell and soot we experienced was when we lived in Long Beach, near the water. I guess it was from the port pollution. The thing I hate about living in LA is that there is no such thing as "fresh air." Even when the air feels crisp and fresh, it still smells and you know it's dirty. I'm probably just spoiled since I grew up in Wisconsin, though.
Do you live near a freeway? I have heard this black 'soot' is coming from automobile tire wear of which there is a large concentration on freeways. I don't know if this is true or not but I have been hearing it from a lot of different areas.
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