LA Observed: Measuring air pollution along LA freeways

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In this May 28, 2010 file photo, the rush hour commute starts in early afternoon and with greater intensity as traffic is jammed in both directions on Interstate 405 on the Westside of Los Angeles as commuters and vacationers hit the road. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Environmental officials are going to start tracking the amount of air pollution in areas near Southern California freeways.

Starting next year, air quality regulators will install monitors at four sites along some of the region’s busiest highways, to see how the air quality is affected by engine exhaust. That will provide some new insight into the health risks of living near these heavily traveled corridors.

Studies have established a connection between air pollution from traffic and many health problems, like asthma, bronchitis, heart disease, cancer, and low birth rates. Children, people who spend a lot of time outdoors, and the elderly are at the highest risk of being affected.

Kevin Roderick, editor of LA Observed, joined KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis to discuss this latest news story.