Originally published April 16, 2021
L.A. County neighborhoods with higher car pollution have higher fatality rates for COVID-19, according to a new study from UCLA.
Researchers found a lot of overlap in Black and brown communities.
“South Central Los Angeles, and then East Los Angeles where we have much higher levels of traffic related air pollution. We also saw some spiking in areas around Long Beach, coming out of the ports,” UCLA Environmental Health professor Michael Jerrett said.
He said air pollution causes pre-existing conditions that make people more susceptible to respiratory infections. “There’s very strong literature on the links between diabetes formation and traffic-related air pollution,” he said.
Jerrett said while socioeconomically disadvantaged zip codes are being prioritized for vaccination, the Healthy Places Index should explicitly account for air pollution exposure.
You can read the full study here.
— CHRIS GREENSPON
This report is reprinted with permission from Southern California Public Radio. © 2021 Southern California Public Radio. All rights reserved.