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How to Solve the Perennial Smog Problem in Los Angeles

Updated on May 14, 2022
Nyamweya profile image

Nyamweya is a Kenyan scholar who has done many years of research on a diversity of topics.


Los Angeles city has been known for its dense smog over the years. However, a field research shows that the smog density has declined to a significant level. However, we were perturbed by the fact that smoke is still a phenomenon to reckon with more than six decades after this problem was noticed in that city. The prevalence of smog is contributed by the high number of automobiles in the town, inversion of temperatures coupled with surrounding mountains that traps dirty air. This problem is also increased by legalization of chemical plants, fumes and smoke emanating from steel production. Other factors that have continued to plague the city include backyard trash incinerators and oil refineries. Despite these, the smog can be reduced up to an acceptable level if specific measures are put in place. Consequently, air pollution has threatened the economy of LA by affecting agriculture, real estate, and tourism. The subsequent part discusses these possible measures.

Policy Alternatives to Reduce LA Smog

The survey of LA region depicts many people as agitating for change as the health dangers caused by this smog becomes clearer. At some days, emergency rooms at various health centers become overflowed, children keep out of school and a number of athletic events get canceled. There were also reports relating smog with various heart problems and lung cancer. This observation is collaborated by findings by the National Geographic Society (2016), which established that smog causes harmful health effects not only to humans but also to animals.

Apparently, there is a populist opposition which is supported by various other earlier studies in regard to the bad air in the LA. Owing to these concerns, it becomes paramount for the local authorities to come up with a law to restrict and control industries with a focus to set an air quality standard which should be based on the public health measurement. After enacting of this bill, the government should take appropriate action as well as implement the law so as to attain the specified goals or eliminating the phenomena. In particular, the local government should set regulations on what kind of chemicals can be released to the atmosphere by a factory, and setting of specific days when waste products can be burned. The regulations should also be extended to the automobile industry, which should be required to manufacture and sell cars that are more fuel efficient to reduce emission of contaminated gases. Further, manufacturers should come up with catalytic converters to suppress the effects of carbon dioxide, VOCs and nitrogen oxides released by power plants and cars.

There should also be an intensified public awareness for citizens to take part and understand their role in reducing smog in the region. For instance, citizens should be informed on the necessity of using public means of transport as opposed to using their private vehicles so as to reduce congestion and the quantity of fumes released into the atmosphere. Individuals can also decide to use carpool, walk or using a bicycle instead of a vehicle. Further, citizens can also be informed on the kind of products that release VOCs and how to avoid them. For instance, they can use paints with low-VOC. Miller and Tyler (2002) post that individual behaviors and actions are significant contributors to occurrence of smog and other forms of pollution. Therefore, if these individuals controlled their behaviors and worked towards reducing smog, then this phenomenon could reduce significantly.

In the long term, the government and stakeholders should develop renewable and green sources of energy that does not emit poisonous gases into the atmosphere. Moreover, there should be continued research to establish a technology for pollution control to effectively manage these phenomena from our environment. With today’s advanced level technology, I believe that such a system is very much possible. In the meantime, there is need to monitor the quality of air using satellites and other ground instruments so as to improve the quality of air in our environment.


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