Los Angeles Smog Issues

2858 Words12 Pages
Air Quality Issues in Los Angeles
Andrew Penn
Humanities 120
Scott Meyers

It is a beautiful, sunny morning, so your walk to work is something you are actually looking forward to today. After breakfast you get on your way and notice how truly warm it is, then you notice something else; your eyes are burning and you are struggling to gasp for another breath. Such is the life for the average Los Angeles resident. A city dominated by warm climate, show business, and extravagant lifestyles has been negatively impacted by the ever-present problem of smog. Noted as a problem for over 100 years in the city, the only advances in the “Smog War” ("The southland 's war," 1997) have been made in the last 60 years or so, leaving a certain level of
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(“Key events in,” 2011) For years leading up to the 1940s, pollution in the city steadily grew along with the increase in people and cars. Los Angeles became a prime location for lingering pollution due to its geographic position. Because it sat in a valley between the mountains and ocean and because of its always relatively low winds, the particles and emissions could not be blown and dissipated into the atmosphere, creating a blanket of smog that slowly engulfed the city. Although air pollution control programs had been implemented before, they had been unsuccessful. The first significant action was taken in the fall of 1943. (“Key events in,” 2011)
To study the issue at hand the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors created a Smoke and Fumes Commission. In the winter of 1943, the city followed some of the commission’s suggestions by banning dense smoke emissions and establishing an office for the Director of Air Pollution Control. After studying the true magnitude of the issue, the Los Angeles Times hired an air pollution expert, Raymond R. Tucker, to help come up with more solutions. After a long investigation, Tucker made 23 recommendations including citing smoking trucks and banning garbage incinerators in dumps and backyards. He also disproved the notion that the pollution was only the factories’ fault. "Caution should be exercised in placing the entire blame on any one industry, plant or group of individuals," he wrote. "Each contributes its share."

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