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Air Pollution, Drought Triples Cancer Risk Estimate for Cali Residents

© Flickr / Ben AmstutzLos Angeles Smog
Los Angeles Smog - Sputnik International
The risk of developing cancer due to breathing toxic industrial emissions is three times higher than had been expected for residents in southern California, according to state officials cited by the Los Angeles Times.

Children and newborns are especially at risk in a new report that says the risk of cancer has shot up in California.

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The South Coast Air Quality Management District said residents in southern California are now at the highest risk of developing cancer in the state. Following the state officials' report, these regulators approved new rules affecting their region which accounts for about 11,000 square miles inhabited by almost 12 million people including those in Los Angelas.

Factories, oil refineries, and other stationary sources of air pollution in southern California may soon have to adhere to tighter restrictions. These measures can include warning nearby residents about the health risks linked to their emissions and reducing the release of toxins such as arsenic, benzene and heavy metals.

The regulators cover a region containing about 400 industrial facilities and about 90 will be affected by their new rules.

Air pollution in southern California has been on the downfall for the past several decades because of heightened regulation, but officials want to take these restrictions further. Some business groups in the region are opposing these measures.   

The Los Angeles County Business Federation warned officials to "avoid unnecessarily alarming the public."

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