Californians Should Not ‘Ignore’ Air Quality Issue, Fresno Bee Says
Although warnings that parts of California have a "deadly air quality problem" might be "overstated," it is "no longer possible to ignore the problem," a Fresno Bee editorial states (Fresno Bee, 9/17). A study released yesterday by the National Environmental Trust found that children in California have a higher risk of contracting cancer from inhaling toxic air pollutants than do the state's adults. According to the study, a two-week-old baby in the Los Angeles region has been exposed to more air pollution than the federal government considers acceptable over a lifetime. Further, by the time a child in the Los Angeles area reaches age 18, he or she will have exceeded the acceptable exposure standards "hundreds of times over" (California Healthline, 9/16). Although the study did not measure residents' risk from pollution, the editorial says, "[W]e needn't wait for a full accounting of the damage that air pollution does." Rather, the editorial advises that state residents "get started right now on many of the different initiatives that will be needed to clean up the air." Concerns about air quality are no longer reserved for "the ravings of crackpots or ... radical environmentalists," the editorial says, adding that while the issue will likely be resolved by "political action," it is not one of "left vs. right." The editorial concludes, "It will be costly to make the changes we must make, both in the amount of money it will take and the disruptions it is sure to cause in our comfortable and convenient lives. But the cost of doing nothing, or of waiting even longer, would be frightful" (Fresno Bee, 9/17).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.