2016 State of the Air Report
The 2016 “State of the Air” report was just released by the American Lung Association and although it finds that California has some of the worst air pollution in the US, there are a few bright spots from the California overview:
California’s innovative clean air policies, such as California’s effort to force the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions have resulted in a number of cities to report their cleanest air year to date. Los Angeles reported the LOWEST number of days for ozone and particulate pollution. The Federal Clean Air Act is responsible for cleaner air coupled with California’s initiatives to promote zero emission vehicles such as electric cars and hydrogen freight transport.
California, and specifically the San Joaquin Valley, is far from being out of the woods with the quality of the air we breath, climate change has impacted California’s clean air progress. Drought and warmer temperatures cause a dryer environment which create more wildfires – all these impact poorer air quality which negatively affects the health of our lungs.
AIR POLLUTION IN THE SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY
4 of the most polluted cities in the US are in the San Joaquin Valley.
Visalia-Hanford ranked #2 in the US for Particle pollution and #3 for Ozone pollution
Fresno-Madera ranked #4 for Ozone pollution, #2 for Short Term Particle pollution and #3 for Annual Particle pollution
Modesto-Merced ranked #7 for Ozone pollution, #4 for Short Term Particle pollution and #6 for Annual Particle pollution
The report also graded cities based on the number of unhealthy ozone or particle days and although many cities in the Valley have seen significant progress in their air quality, every county in the Valley (Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare) all received a grade of “F” in the report.
THE HIGHEST ASTHMA RATE IN THE US
The report also points out that the counties in the San Joaquin Valley has the highest asthma rate for children in the nation. Over 550,000 Valley residents have asthma of these, 105,000 are children. The report also notes that there are over 400 premature deaths in the Valley annually related to air pollution which is roughly equivalent to the number of automobile related deaths.
Asthma may not be curable at this time, effective management may, with some patients, be so effective it amounts to a virtual cure. Proper asthma management can prevent such symptoms as coughing and shortness of breath, reduce the need for quick-relief medicines, help you sleep through the night and help prevent asthma attacks that can result in emergency room or hospital visits.
A trained allergist is the proper physician to treat and prescribe an effective asthma management plan. The physicians at Baz Allergy, Asthma and Sinus Center have been treating asthma patients in the San Joaquin Valley for many years helping them to successfully reduce asthma symptoms and return to many activities previously unavailable to those not correctly treating their asthma.