Outdoor Air Quality

101 Freeway, Photo by VC Star

US 101 highway, photo by Ventura County Star

Living adjacent to the ocean improves air quality – as does living away from major roads and highways.

For people who live and work in the city, smog can cause health problems including asthma and lung cancer. In Los Angeles, ozone is a major component of smog with particularly harmful effects. Historically smog came from burning coal, and this is still a key source, since much of our electricity comes from coal fired plants. Coal-derived smog contains soot particulates from smoke, sulfur dioxide and other parts. Vehicle exhaust from the vast number of vehicles on the road is another significant source of smog in Los Angeles. Learn more about air pollution sources on the EPA’s website.


Smog Check: Heaven or Hell?
At some point your older car may not pass a smog test. The reason that old clunker is failing is because it is now polluting the air. Your old car may meet the eligibility requirements for the State’s Cash for Clunkers program. The California Department of Motor Vehicles provides smog information online.


South Coast Air Quality Management District
Find information on air quality, permitting, compliance, or make a complaint at 800-288-7664 (800-CUT-SMOG).


Coalition for Clean Air
Stay up to date on public policy in Sacramento.