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Study: LAX Neighbors May Be Exposed To Toxic Particles From Airport Activity

WESTCHESTER ( — Residents living near LAX and other Southland airports may be exposed to extremely tiny particles from airport activity that carry toxins into the lungs, according to researchers.

KNX 1070's Margaret Carrero reports Councilman Mike Bonin has asked for a report about efforts to reduce airport pollution following the release of a new study.

Study: LAX Neighbors May Be Exposed To Toxic Particles From Airport Activity

According to the LAX Air Quality & Source Apportionment Study conducted by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) in June 2013, ultra-fine particles (UFPs) in the air surrounding the airport are three to five times higher at locations near LAX than in typical urban communities.

Researchers say UFPs emitted by jet engines and ground vehicles used in airport operations can carry toxic material deep into the lungs, where they can penetrate tissue or be absorbed directly into the bloodstream, according to Bonin.

The Southern California Particle Center at UCLA recently found UFP exposure may be a factor in cardiovascular disease and adverse respiratory health.

The study, which was conducted as part of a settlement agreement between LAX and nearby residents, is expected to be the subject of LAWA's report to the council, Bonin said.

LAX is situated among several residential communities, including Playa del Rey and Westchester to the north, Lennox to the east and El Segundo to the south.

"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."

Larry Weintraub, the owner of the legendary Randy's Donuts on Manchester, said while pollution hasn't affected him personally, LAWA officials should do something to reduce pollution.

"I do believe that it does affect some people, maybe a great majority of people," said Weintraub. "The people that live out here are stuck here."

LAX, which is the sixth busiest airport in the world, served more than 64 million passengers and processed 1.9 million tons of cargo in 2012 as part of an estimated economic contribution topping $90 billion, according to Bonin.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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