|3||Fort Worth, Texas|
|5||Union Hill, Illinois|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
12:06, Feb 27
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 19 US AQI||PM2.5|
|PM2.5|| 4.7 µg/m³|
|Open your windows to bring clean, fresh air indoors|
|Enjoy outdoor activities|
|Tuesday, Feb 23|
Good 46 US AQI
|Wednesday, Feb 24|
Good 23 US AQI
|Thursday, Feb 25|
Good 10 US AQI
Good 19 US AQI
|Saturday, Feb 27|
Good 17 US AQI
|Sunday, Feb 28|
Good 22 US AQI
|Monday, Mar 1|
Good 30 US AQI
|Tuesday, Mar 2|
Good 30 US AQI
|Wednesday, Mar 3|
Good 13 US AQI
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Beverly Hills air quality is among the worst in the United States, despite having a relatively small population of roughly 34,000, and no highly polluting industries. It is the city’s location in Los Angeles County, just 9 miles from downtown Los Angeles and the metropolitan sprawl, that plagues the city with unhealthy air.
In Beverly Hills, PM2.5 and ozone dominate the area’s pollution mix, frequently reaching unhealthy levels. The American Lung Association (ALA) compiles an annual report grading US County’s on their ability to meet federal air pollution targets. Since the ALA’s records began two decades ago, L.A. County has failed to meet federal measures for annual PM2.5, short-term PM2.5, or short-term ozone pollution despite significant year-over-year improvements.1
PM2.5 describes airborne particles 2.5 microns in diameter or smaller, roughly 1/30th the size of a human hair. PM2.5 is the smallest particulate matter widely measured by the US EPA. Its small size is its key defining feature and also what makes the pollutant particularly dangerous. When inhaled, PM2.5 penetrates deep into the lungs, corrodes the alveolar wall, and sometimes enters the bloodstream, causing far-reaching health effects. Breathing PM2.5 pollution has been definitively linked to adverse health effects ranging from heart and lung disease to cancer, altered genetic code, brain atrophy, and birth defects.
Annual PM2.5 is a measure that smooths over daily highs and lows to provide the most ‘typical’ air quality situation. While hyperlocal air quality data in Beverly Hills was unavailable in the 2019 monitoring period, nearby West Hollywood offers insight. In 2019, West Hollywood averaged an annual PM2.5 concentration of 14.3 μg/m3, (“moderate”), failing to meet the US EPA target for annual PM2.5 exposure set at 12 μg/m3 as well as the more stringent World Health Organization target set at 10 μg/m3.
In addition to annual PM2.5 levels that illustrate long-term trends, a second measure, 24-hour PM2.5, highlights short-term PM2.5 trends by counting the number of unhealthy PM2.5 days per year. This measure highlights the frequency of pollution events, such as wildfires or pollution-trapping weather conditions.
During the most recent 2016 and 2018 monitoring period, Los Angeles County averaged 13.8 unhealthy PM2.5 days per year, more than four times the federal allowance of 3.2 unhealthy days per year. The vast majority of unhealthy PM2.5 days in Beverly Hills were the result of code “orange” air quality (air deemed ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’), the lowest ‘unhealthy’ rating. Only a handful of days were the result of “red” air quality days (‘unhealthy’ for the general public). No days in this monitoring period averaged levels higher “red”.
Despite Beverly Hills’ challenges with PM2.5 pollution, ozone is the pollutant most frequently at unhealthy levels. Ozone is a highly irritating gas pollutant formed in the atmosphere when nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) react in heat and sunlight. Since it is not emitted directly, but rather formed from other ambient gas pollutants, ozone levels can be difficult to manage, particularly in warm climates where conditions for formation are ideal. Breathing ozone pollution can inflame the lungs, trigger asthma attacks, and cause permanent lung damage.
Short-term ozone pollution, like short-term PM2.5, is measured as the number of days per year that average unhealthy levels. In the 2016 to 2018 monitoring period, Los Angeles County averaged 111 unhealthy ozone days per year, far exceeding the federal allowance of 3.2 days. Nearly one in every three days in Los Angeles is an Ozone Action Day. Such excess beyond the federal standard caused Los Angeles County to rank as the most polluted metropolitan area in the US for ozone out of 229 included areas.
Pollution levels are dynamic and fast-changing, varying based on emissions and weather conditions. Follow real-time air quality data for Beverly Hills at the top of this page to understand the risks present in the air. The “main pollutant” indicates which air pollutant is currently at the most dangerous levels. In Beverly Hills, ozone is frequently the main pollutant in the summer months, while PM2.5 is frequently the main pollutant in winter months. Air quality index (AQI) scores beyond 100 indicate unhealthy air, and daily averages above 100 represent a “short-term” pollution event.
Beverly Hills air quality, like all cities in the United States West, is subject to wildfire smoke. Although wildfires are unpredictable and temporary, they can become a major source of short-term PM2.5 pollution, swinging air quality levels from “good” to “unhealthy” or worse. In recent years, wildfires near Beverly Hills have shaped the city’s monthly and annual air pollution averages.
2017, 2018, and 2020 were all record-breaking wildfire seasons in California that correlated with higher than average air pollution levels across the state. The Silverado and Blue Ridge firesburned a combined 20,000 acres in Orange County in late October 2020 and spawned the worst air in the nation as Beverly Hills and surrounding areas reached “very unhealthy” air quality levels.2
Wildfire smoke tends to impact Beverly Hills air pollution levels in the months of July through November when hot temperatures and dry winds are more frequent. Take care to follow Beverly Hills air quality data during these months to stay aware of active fires and pollution spikes.
Air quality across the Los Angeles Basin varies significantly. Coastal cities, such as Malibu, Santa Monica, and Manhattan Beach benefit from frequent sea breezes that blow clean air in from the Pacific. Inland cities, on the other hand, face both higher emissions and adverse weather conditions, such as thermal and subsidence inversions, that trap pollution in the valley.
Among cities in the metropolitan area, Beverly Hills tends to experience worse pollution levels than its coastal neighbors. Even among other cities in the valley, air pollution levels in Beverly Hills are relatively high. This is the unfortunate result of geographic and weather conditions rather than daily emissions.
In 2019, neighboring cities averaged:
|City Name||2019 Average||# of Months Exceeding
|Monthly High in 2019|
|Huntington||15.4 μg/m3||8||21.5 μg/m3|
|West Hollywood||14.3 μg/m3||8||21.9 μg/m3|
|Glendale||13.6 μg/m3||6||25.3 μg/m3|
|Los Angeles||12.7 μg/m3||6||18.3 μg/m3|
|Culver City||12.5 μg/m3||5||19.2 μg/m3|
|Manhattan Beach||12 μg/m3||6||20.5 μg/m3|
|Santa Monica||11.6 μg/m3||5||17.7 μg/m3|
|Malibu||10.6 μg/m3||4||16.9 μg/m3|
While Los Angeles County remains one of the most polluted metropolitan areas in the United States, the region is winning its war on air pollution. Over the last two decades, the number of unhealthy PM2.5 days per year has fallen 84 percent, from 84.2 days per year (2000-2002 monitoring period) to 13.8 (2016-2018 monitoring period), while the number of unhealthy ozone days has fallen 20 percent, from 138.3 days per year (1996-1998) to 111 (2016-2018 monitoring period). Still, both measures remain far above the federal target that allows no more than 3.2 unhealthy PM2.5 and ozone days per year.
Further reducing air quality levels in Beverly Hills will be challenging. Climate change is expected to exacerbate air pollution in the region, as warmer temperatures accelerate and prolong the ozone season, and wildfire season.
Ozone is known as a “secondary” air pollutant. Rather than being emitted directly into the air, ozone forms in the atmosphere when gases released by cars, trucks, and factories bake in heat and sunlight. As a result of this property, the highest ozone levels usually coincide with the hottest weather as hotter temperatures speedup the ozone-forming photochemical reactions.
In 2020, ozone levels in Los Angeles County spiked to 185 parts per billion (ppb), more than double the federal target of 70 ppb.3 Levels this high had not been seen in 26 years, since 1994. The spike was the result of a combination of stagnant weather conditions and an extreme heat wave that caused temperatures to exceed 120 degrees for the first time on record.
Wildfires, a major source of particulate pollution (like ash, soot, and dust), are also on the rise as a result of climate change. As average annual temperatures rise, snow melts earlier, evaporation leads to greater water loss in plants and drier soils, and the amount of dead forest underbrush grows. Since 2012, the number of unhealthy PM2.5 days in Beverly Hills has been on the rise.
Efforts to reduce air pollution levels in Beverly Hills have entailed shifts toward a cleaner power grid and more fuel-efficient low-emission vehicles as well as increasingly stringent regulations on emissions, such as on industry and domestic wood burning.
Incentives, rebates, and infrastructure building have promoted shifts towards electric vehicles.4 As gas-powered cars and trucks make up roughly 60 percent of emissions in America, this transition offers a significant opportunity for reducing pollution levels.
In 2018, zero-emission vehicles only represented 1.4 percent of all Los Angeles cars and trucks.5 The city’s new sustainability plan, however, seeks to increase this rate to 25 percent by 2025 and 100 percent by 2050. Such a change could reduce air pollution levels in Los Angeles by nearly half.
Beverly Hills is also moving towards a more renewable energy product for its power grid. Currently, all customers can choose to have their energy be either a 36 percent renewable, 50 percent renewable, or 100 percent renewable product.6
+ Article Resources
 American Lung Association. (2020). State of the Air report – 2020.
 Smith H. (2020, October 27). Wildfires bring unhealthiest air in the nation to Southern California. Los Angeles Times.
 Austin P. (2020, September 11). Worst smog in decades poses health threat in Beverly Hills. Patch.
 EV Stations Local. (2020). Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations in Beverly Hills, CA.
 Roth S. (2019, May 6). Los Angeles sets dramatic new goals for electric cars. The Detroit News.
 City of Beverly Hills. (2017, December 17). Clean Power Alliance.