A new study using satellite technology provides evidence that the Southland’s tough clean air programs are helping reduce air pollution throughout the state, the California Air Resources Board announced Tuesday.
The study determined that concentrations of nitrates in the Los Angeles area decreased significantly, most prominently near transportation corridors. It also found that concentrations of organic carbon and elemental carbon decreased significantly in both the urban and suburban areas of Southern California, according to CARB.
The news is a result of CARB’s programs targeting pollution from cars and trucks, along with other programs including wood burning rules implemented by air districts, the agency said.
In the study, scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, CARB and Emory University in Atlanta worked together to analyze satellite data to determine the 15-year trend of fine particle pollution.
This type of pollution is known as PM2.5, referring to particulate matter that is less than 2.5 microns in diameter, or about 3/100ths the diameter of a human hair. PM2.5 is especially burdensome in California and accounts for the greatest percentage of health impacts attributable to air pollution, according to the research published in the journal Atmospheric Environment.
“This study provides new evidence that California’s clean air programs are delivering reductions in air pollution in heavily-trafficked urban areas and in far-flung rural locations, including disadvantaged communities where people are hardest hit by pollution,” CARB research director Bart Croes said.
The information was collected using the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer on NASA’s Terra satellite, which adds to data collected at air quality monitoring stations on the ground.
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