Take A Deep Breath And Read About How Bad LA Smog Really Is

Gross black dust on your windowsill. Sickly yellow haze that obscures the mountains. Childhood memories of recess cancelled due to smog alerts.

You know the air here is dirty. Now learn why.


The L.A. smog story goes a little like this: on July 8, 1943, a mysterious haze descended on the city.

"People were having car accidents," Chip Jacobs, co-author of Smogtown: The Lung-Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles, told LAist. "Mothers were wondering why their kids' eyes were watering. Police officers were spinning loopy."

What was this strange haze? Was it a gas attack? Smoke from factories? From some distant fire?

To solve the mystery, local officials formed the nation's first air quality regulator, the Los Angeles County Air Pollution Control District. They began looking into the problem and quickly learned that there were a lot of sources of air pollution in greater L.A.: people burning trash in their backyards, oil refineries, smudge pots (which are small, smoky fires used by citrus growers to keep trees warm at night), and factories.

But soon, a Caltech scientist figured out that cars and gasoline were largely to blame for the eye-watering, lung-searing haze.

Read the entire article at Laist.com