Study: Cancer Risk From Air Pollution in Southern California on the Decline
The cancer risk from air pollution in Southern California has declined 17% over the last seven years but remains at hazardous levels, according to a two-year study released Friday by the governing board of the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the Los Angeles Times reports (Wilson, Los Angeles Times, 1/5).
The district covers Orange County and parts of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The population of the region is 16 million (Schwartz, AP/Ventura County Star, 1/5).
The report attributed the decline to:
- Strict regulations on dry cleaners and industry;
- Grants to fund cleaner technologies and fuels; and
- Emission-reduction programs at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
The report attributed about 1,000 to 1,200 cancer cases per one million residents over 70 years from exposure to 30 common toxic substances. Health experts consider a reasonable level to be 10 cases per one million people, according to Barry Wallerstein, AQMD executive officer (Los Angeles Times, 1/5).
The risk more than doubled to 2,900 cancer cases per one million residents near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, according to the report. Diesel exhaust accounts for 84% of the region's cancer risk (AP/Ventura County Star, 1/5). 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.