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To the Editor:—
The article on smog by Motley and co-workers in The Journal, Nov. 14, 1959, page 1469, contains a common misstatement which should be corrected. The major source of smog in Los Angeles is industry, not automobiles as stated. Proof of this statement follows. I might add that the automobile is used as a convenient red herring to shield industry.The figures are in tons per day. Automobile figures include trucks and buses. In the San Francisco bay area figures are from the Air Pollution Control District; Jan. 16, 1959. These figures are more reliable than those for Los Angeles, since the county is more compact.Even though these figures show automobiles to constitute less than half of the contributions, they are completely unreliable for the following reasons: 1. Automobile statistics are based on gasoline consumption for the entire county. Obviously many automobiles are in nonsmoggy areas. The
Rosten MJ. SMOG IN LOS ANGELES. JAMA. 1960;172(12):1322-1323. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020120100027