I was shocked to read in Column One of the LA Times last week that residents in Commerce, California have a 29% increased risk of cancer caused by air pollution in the area. Trains idling in train yards spew gray diesel smoke and apparently other carcinogens.
Another contributor to air pollution are trucks that transport goods from ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach and the ships that dock there. Neighborhoods along the 710 corridor including Wilmington, Carson, Compton, Huntington Park and Commerce get some of the most intense pollution.
LA Times staff writer Margot Roosevelt reports: "Each year, pollution from ships, trucks and trains that move goods through the region contributes to an estimated 2,100 early deaths, 190,000 sick days for workers, and 360,000 school absences, according to the California Air Resources Board." See: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-air-pollution24-2009sep24,0,194490,full.story
On LA Times' Greenspace blog, Roosevelt has posted a video on the subject shot by Sachi Cunningham: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2009/09/railyard-pollution-california.html .
I live in Santa Monica, so my air quality is pretty good (I think).
No one should have to hold their breath at home to avoid inhaling diesel fumes. I hope the Clean Air Resources Board will take action on this issue soon.