Southern California Children’s Health Study Forum

The Southern California Children’s Health Study Forum: “Healthier kids and the future of cleaner air” was a chance for researchers to talk about the latest information about air pollution in the Los Angeles basin, and what this means for children’s health.  Community leaders discussed their work to reduce emissions from freeway pollution and the ports in the future.

Thank you to all the speakers and participants at the May 18, 2015 event in Long Beach, CA; nearly 100 residents and members of nonprofit organizations attended.

The event featured panelists Frank Gilliland, Rob McConnell, Ed Avol, and Jim Gauderman of USC, mark! Lopez, East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, Elisa Nicholas, Long Beach Alliance for Children with Asthma, and moderator Andrea Hricko, USC.  Panelists discussed recent research, including studies on overall levels of air pollution and improving children’s lung function, studies linking air pollution exposure to higher weight and obesity, and the health costs of air pollution to families.  Levels of ultrafine particles, the smallest particles that can get deep into the lungs, are still too high near roadways and downwind of LAX Airport.

Residents were able to talk with USC scientists about their environmental health concerns, and discuss how to use research results in the future.  Participants brought up many important issues, and talked about ways in which the community and researchers can partner together.

“Building partnerships and opportunities for youth to go on to these career paths is important.”
– East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve quoted the Children’s Health Study.”
– Long Beach Alliance for Children with Asthma

“The work you’re doing here in LA is also helping people 1500 miles away.”
– Diesel Health Project, Kansas City

Panel of speakers at the forum.

Over 100 people attended.

Organized by the Trade, Health, and Environment Impact Project, and sponsored by the Southern California Environmental Health Sciences Center, the Southern California Children’s Health Sciences Center, Building Healthy Communities: Long Beach, and The Kresge Foundation. 

Update on the expansion of the 710 Freeway South

Our Center members and outreach program have been involved in discussions, meetings, and planning regarding the I-710 Corridor for much of the previous decade.  This has included speaking at public hearings, participating in planning sessions, providing the latest scientific research findings to involved policymakers and commenting on potential alternatives developed by the LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (METRO), Caltrans, and the Gateway Cities Council of Governments, the regional organization providing a forum for the 21 cities adjacent to and/or directly impacted by the I-710 Freeway.  Our primary concerns have centered on the health impacts of near-roadway air pollution. Expanding the number of lanes on the I-710 means that freeway pollution will be closer to homes, schools, and parks. Today’s article in the Los Angeles Times describes the current CalTrans plans which appear to be supported by Southern California Assn. of Governments. Also note, an alternative that has been offered by the Coalition for Environmental Health and Justice.

Source: Metro. Click on image to go to original.