The risk levels are “clearly too high, and unacceptable, relative to breathing air here in Southern California,” said Barry Wallerstein, executive officer at the South Coast Air Quality Management District, which released the study. “The acceptable risk level is really down somewhere between one and 10 in a million.”
But unfortunately, The Register reports today that the new study from South Coast AQMD shows that 1,200 out of 1 million in the Greater LA/Orange County area are expected to contract cancer from being exposed the toxic pollutants floating around in our air during their lifetimes. The chief culprit remains diesel exhaust, considered responsible for 84% of the total risk of cancer. Mobile pollution sources, such as cars, trucks and other vehicles, account for an estimated 94% of the risk.
And according to this new study, the risk is greatest near LA County’s commercial ports, with as many as 2,900 people per million at risk for cancer, as well as Inland Empire areas such as Fontana at 1,400 per million. Meanwhile, South Orange County continues to have the lowest risk levels measured in the basin. North County’s levels were higher, due to proximity to corridors along which goods are shipped, such as freeways and railroad tracks, where diesel exhaust is more prevalent.
So what do we do about all these carcinogens in our air? What do you think should be done about all this carcinogenic air pollution still in our atmosphere? Should South Coast AQMD and other local regulatory agencies take a harder line on diesel exhaust and other vehicle exhausts?
I want to hear what you have to say about all this cancer causing pollution. Is it a serious problem, and what do we do about it? Do we need tougher regulation on this threat to our health and our environment? Or are we making too much out of nothing? Go ahead and have your say.