As Smog Thins in L.A., Dramatic Evidence of Kids' Healthier Lungs
New study shows Los Angeles–area kids have fewer breathing problems now than they did in the 1990s.
It may be the biggest success story in environmental health in modern America.
Children in the Los Angeles region have substantially healthier lungs than they did just 20 years ago, thanks largely to multibillion-dollar efforts to clean up southern California's infamous smog and soot.
The scientists reached a dramatic conclusion that they hope reverberates globally: Reducing air pollution improves people's health.
"It's remarkable; this is one of the biggest turnarounds I've ever seen," says lead researcher W. James Gauderman, with USC's Keck School of Medicine.
In the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers followed 2,000 kids from five southern California cities with some of the worst air, including Long Beach, Riverside, San Dimas, Upland, and Mira Loma. They