People who breathe the polluted air around Southern California’s freeways have an increased chance of developing cancer, according to a study released today by the South Coast Air Quality Management District. Residents of the congested core of Los Angeles County, which include many minority, low-income people, face the greatest odds in the region of contracting cancer because of air pollution. Diesel vehicles, which release tiny particles of carbon that experts link to lung disease, account for 71 percent of cancer risk from air contaminants in the Los Angeles basin, the study found. In January, the AQMD board will consider a sweeping plan to clean up the region’s air, including tougher rules for diesel vehicles. The California Air Resources Board and the EPA are also planning tighter standards for new diesel vehicles.