An "eye-stinging" air pollutant in Los Angeles is decreasing due to stricter vehicle emissions standards in Southern California and the United States, a new study that examined emissions of chemicals in the City of Angels found.
The chemical, called peroyxacetyl nitrate (PAN), is associated with eye irritation during smoggy days. And it's not the only thing declining in the city's air: Ozone is also on the wane, the study found, confirming ozone measurements done by other researchers.
"To most people the important thing is that air quality has improved, but as scientists we want to understand how it has improved," lead researcher Ilana Pollack told Our Amazing Planet. Pollack works with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's Earth System Research Laboratory in the chemical sciences division.
"Our work aims to interpret the past and present observations, with the aim of informing future decisions," added Pollack, who is also a research scientist with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) with the University of Colorado in Boulder.