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Anthony Moretti, chairman of pediatrics at White Memorial featured in LA Times

Health Alert

 Are you one of the 2.5 million Southern Californians already living in the pollution zone?

Anthony Moretti, chairman of pediatrics at White Memorial Medical Center in Boyle Heights, said children who live close to freeways are among those who most frequently land in the emergency room struggling to breathe and in need of treatment for asthma and other respiratory diseases.

“These kids will come in four, five, six times over a six-month period, and clearly their environment is a factor,” he said. "I feel for these families because they suffer an undue burden of illness simply because of where they live.“

Public health officials have long warned that traffic pollution can drift well over 1,000 feet from traffic — and more recent research suggests that it may waft more than a mile.

Yet it took lawsuits and a nationwide mandate from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to force Southern California air quality officials to begin regularly measuring pollution near Southern California freeways in 2014.

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La Me Ln Freeway Building Pollution Pictures 004