SoCal hit with worst smog in years as hot, stagnant weather brings surge in hospital visits

Southern California is experiencing its worst smog in years this summer as heat and stagnant weather increase the number of bad air days and drive up ozone pollution to levels not seen since 2009.

Where pollution is worst, in the Inland Empire, hospitals and asthma clinics are reporting increases in patients seeking treatment for respiratory illness, their breathing difficulties exacerbated by the persistent heat and pollution.

Ozone, the lung-searing gas in smog that triggers asthma and other health problems, has exceeded federal standards on 91 days so far this year compared to 67 days over the same period last year, according to South Coast Air Quality Management District data through Monday.

In June, only four days had healthy air across the South Coast basin, which spans Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. In July, ozone levels violated federal health standards every day except July 31.

And it’s not getting any better. So far, every day of August has been over the federal limit of 70 parts per billion.

Read the entire article at