1979 smog siege
June 29, 1979: Sera Segal-Alsberg wears mask designed to filter out airborne particles during Los Angeles smog alert. Segal-Alsberg, an artist-instructor, was en route to teach a class at County Museum of Art.
Retired staff photographer Boris Yaro found Segal-Alsberg on Crescent Heights Boulevard in West Hollywood. This photo accompanied a story by writers Sandra Blakeslee and Jan Klunder in the June 30, 1979, Los Angeles Times, reporting:
A three-day smog attack, which thrust thousands of Southern Californians into carpools and kept other thousands indoors, ended last Friday as air pollution officials predicted a cooling trend and less smog this weekend.
Temperatures in the 70s at the beaches, 87 in downtown Los Angeles, in the low 90s in valley areas and 105 in Palmdale were predicted.
A predicted second-stage ozone episode did not materialize Friday, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, because the weather improved and emergency smog abatement measures taken by local industry helped reduce air contaminants.
For example, the smog was worst at 2 p.m. Wednesday when it measured .43 parts per million of air in Pasadena. Emergency smog plans, requiring 2,750 companies to form employee carpools and to cut emissions 20%, were called into action.
Thursday’s weather was an exact copy of Wednesday’s, the agency said, but the highest regional smog reading, again at 2 p.m. in Pasadena, was .35 parts per million. At that level, a stage-two health advisory is called.
Friday, the second day the plans were in effect, the 2 p.m. reading at Pasadena was .23 parts per million. (The high for the day was .31 in Fontana.)
“We think these reductions are due to the smog abatement plan,” said Jim Birakos, spokesman for the agency….
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