LOS ANGELES – In an important step toward protecting Westside residents from an unregulated form of air pollution created by jet fuel and ground vehicles used at the airport, City Councilmember Mike Bonin today called on Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) to present the findings of a recent air pollution study to the City Council.

The “LAX Air Quality & Source Apportionment Study” found that ultrafine particles (UFPs) in the air surrounding the airport are three to five times higher at locations near LAX than in typical urban communities. Ultrafine particles, which are emitted by jet engines and ground vehicles used in airport operations, are particulate matter of nanoscale size that are currently unregulated by state and federal law. The study, which was done as part of a settlement agreement between the airport and neighbors living in the area, will be the subject of LAWA’s report to the Council.

“LAX should not only be a world-class airport, but also a first-class neighbor,” Bonin said. “The results of LAWA’s recent air quality study are crucial to people living in communities near LAX, as well as the traveling public, and we need to be better informed about the possible health impacts caused by pollution from this potentially dangerous form of jet emissions.”

Though the long-term effect of exposure to UFPs is currently being studied, recent research reveals that when UFPs are inhaled, the microscopic air pollution particles have the potential to carry toxic material deep into the lungs, where they can penetrate tissue or be absorbed directly into the bloodstream. According to research by the Southern California Particle Center at the University of California Los Angeles, UFP exposure may be a factor in cardiovascular disease and adverse respiratory health.

“People are justifiably concerned about how this air pollution affects the health of their families,” said Bonin. “The health and safety of our neighborhoods must come first.” 

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is an economic driver to the region, as the 6th busiest airport in the world. In 2012, 64 million passengers were served by the airport and 1.9 million tons of cargo was processed with an economic contribution of nearly $90 billion.

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M O T I O N

Pursuant to the 2006 LAX Settlement Agreement with airport neighbors, which paved the way for modernization at LAX, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) recently completed a study to determine the sources of air emissions from airport operations and to better understand LAX’s air quality impacts on local neighborhoods. One of the key findings of this Air Quality & Source Apportionment Study was that ultrafine particles (UFPs), a subset of PM 2.5, were found to be three to five times higher at certain study points than typical urban levels.

While there currently is no ambient air quality standard for UFP and studies on adverse health effects have not been definitive, the expectation is that UFPs are inhaled and have the potential to carry toxic material deep into the lungs, where they can penetrate tissue or be absorbed directly into the bloodstream. According to research by the Southern California Particle Center at the University of California Los Angeles, UFP exposure may be a factor in cardiovascular disease and adverse respiratory health.

As LAX is situated among residential communities, with Playa del Rey and Westchester to the north, Lennox to the east and El Segundo to the south, there is significant concern from residents that these UFPs could adversely impact those that live, work, and play in local neighborhoods.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is an economic driver to the region, as the 6th busiest airport in the world. In 2012, 64 million passengers were served by the airport and 1.9 million tons of cargo was processed with an economic contribution of nearly $90 billion. It is in the interest of the city and the region to better understand the air quality impacts of LAX operations and the mitigation efforts that are under way.

I THEREFORE MOVE that Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) be requested to report to the City Council on the LAX Air Quality & Source Apportionment Study results on UFPs as well as existing studies on possible health impacts; and that LAWA provide an overview of the environmental mitigation efforts undertaken to lessen the impacts of operations, both jet and vehicle-related, that produce emissions, including ultrafine particles, in the surrounding communities.

PRESENTED BY: MIKE BONIN, Councilmember, 11th District

SECONDED BY: BOB BLUMENFIELD, Councilmember, 3rd District

 

Download and read the full study here.