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Southern California Having Smoggiest Summer Since 2009

TravelingOtter / Flickr
 

TravelingOtter / Flickr

(AP) - Southern California is having its smoggiest summer in nearly a decade and hospitals report an increase of people with breathing problems.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District says ozone levels exceeded federal standards for all but four days in June. July had only one clean-air day, and there hasn't been a single day so far in August.

The worst-hit areas are in the mountains and inland areas outside of Los Angeles.

Hospitals in Loma Linda and San Bernardino report 15 to 30 percent increases in the numbers of patients with asthma or other respiratory problems seeking help for breathing difficulties.

It's not all bad news, though. The district says even the worst smog is nothing compared to the foul blanket that used to cover Southern California in the 1970s.