December 1, 1962

Auto Fumes Only One Cause of Smog in Los Angeles

JAMA. 1962;182(9):25-26. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050480089034

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Although automobiles are believed to be the biggest source of Los Angeles smog, exhaust control devices alone will not solve the problem, according to A. H. Haagen-Smit, Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.

"A misconception has gradually developed that the only thing we have to do now is to wait for the installation of exhaust control devices and the smog will disappear as scheduled," he said. "Nothing could be further from the truth."

Present devices cannot do the job, he said, and a broader approach to the problem is needed.

Haagen-Smit, professor of bioorganic chemistry, spoke last week at the opening session of the 16th AMA Clinical Meeting, which was devoted to air pollution.

In July of 1960, he said, a law was enacted calling for a reduction of hydrocarbon emissions of motor vehicles and designed to reduce smog to the 1940 level. Taking into account a yearly increase