Before and after photos show how stay-at-home orders helped Los Angeles significantly reduce its notorious smog

Before and after photos show how stay-at-home orders helped Los Angeles significantly reduce its notorious smog
LA smog say at home order

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  • Los Angeles, which is notorious for its smog, has some of the cleanest air in the world, as California stays under lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
  • The improvement could be attributed to fewer planes flying and fewer cars on the road.
  • However, experts predict the air quality will go down again once the lockdown is lifted.
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Los Angeles, a city well known for its smog and pollution currently has some of the cleanest air among major cities across the world, CNN reported.

The designation comes from an IQ Air's live quality city ranking. According to CBS Los Angeles, this is the best air quality that the city has seen in decades.

CNN reported that the Environmental Protection Agency said the city last month saw the most consecutive good air days since at least 1995.

LA smog

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Smog hangs over the city on a day rated as having 'moderate' air quality in downtown Los Angeles, on June 11, 2019.

According to CBS, experts attribute the reduced pollution to fewer planes flying and less traffic on the ground.

Dr. Yifang Zhu, a professor of environmental health sciences at UCLA's Fielding School of Public Health, told CNN her team also saw reduced levels of PM 2.5, a class of air pollutants linked to cardiovascular and respiratory problems, CNN reported. The group observed that the pollutant, which a Harvard study linked it's exposure to a higher risk of death from COVID-19 was down by 40%.

However, Business Insider's Lauren Frias previously reported that while lockdowns and quarantines were contributing to reduced pollution and emissions in China, that won't last for long and is likely to reverse once cities begin to open again.

Lauri Myllyvirta, the lead analyst at the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air in Helsinki, Finland, told Insider that it was likely that the country's streak of reduced emissions would stop once companies started increasing production to make up for what was lost during the lockdown.

LA smog lockdown

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Downtown freeways are empty of traffic as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Los Angeles on April 7, 2020.

Zhu also told CNN that the air quality in Los Angeles is also likely to go back down once the lockdown is lifted. However, she said the improvements show that people can take steps to ensure better air quality.

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