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Asthma caused by air pollution costs Long Beach and Riverside $18 million a year

Trucks are driven near the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, the busiest port complex in the US, on September near Long Beach, California.
David McNew/Getty Images
Trucks are driven near the Ports of Long Beach and L.A., the busiest port complex in the U.S., on September. A study finds traffic-related cases of asthma are costing the city.

Air pollution is taking a higher toll than previously thought, especially in Long Beach and Riverside.

Researchers at USC’s Keck School of Medicine and the University of Massachusetts released a study Tuesday afternoon. They found that asthma caused by air pollution from cars is costing Long Beach and Riverside a combined $18 million a year.

Researchers looked at risk factors that hadn’t been examined before: things like school absences, lost wages of a parent who stays home with a sick child, and the number of doctor visits.

The report says asthma care devours on average up to 8 percent of a household’s income in those communities, and that’s above the 5 percent that’s considered to be affordable.

The researchers chose Long Beach and Riverside because of their high pollution levels, and because of the many large roads within them that run close to neighborhoods.