Posts Tagged ‘air quality’

Failing Grade for Santa Clara County Air Quality

state-of-the-air-20091MetBlogs – Santa Clara County:  Santa Clara County has been given a failing grade for air quality by the American Lung Association.  The State of the Air 2009 report gave failing grades to 39 counties in California, including Alameda, Contra Costa, and Santa Clara.   

This is not a news item that we should easily dismiss.  The estimated number of people that particle pollution kills each year has tripled in our state.  According to Jenny Bard, the Bay Area regional air quality director for the American Lung Association, we have historically had the worst air quality in the Bay Area.  From 2005 to 2007, Santa Clara County surpassed unhealthy ozone limits an average 5.2 days a year.  We also surpassed unhealthy short-term pollution particle levels a yearly average of 11 days, which gave us the 24th highest level in the nation.


The report finds that six out of ten Americans live in areas where air pollution levels endanger lives.  “This should be a wakeup call.  We know that air pollution is a major threat to human health,” said Stephen J. Nolan, American Lung Association National Board Chair.  “When 60 percent of Americans are left breathing air dirty enough to send people to the emergency room, to shape how kids’ lungs develop, and to kill, air pollution remains a serious problem.”


According to the ALA, ozone is the most widespread form of air pollution. When inhaled, ozone irritates the lungs, resulting in something like a bad sunburn. Ozone can cause wheezing, coughing and asthma attacks and can even shorten lives.


It is estimated that over 3,700 deaths annually can be attributed to a 10-parts-per-billion increase in ozone levels.


Particle pollution is a toxic mix of microscopic soot, diesel exhaust, chemicals, metals and aerosols. It is the most dangerous and deadly of the outdoor air pollutants that are widespread in America. Breathing in particle pollution can increase the risk of early death, heart attacks, strokes and emergency room visits for asthma and cardiovascular disease.


World’s Going to Hell

We went to Oregon last weekend. On the way up, we saw the lightning storm and on the way back we had to drive through the fire. Could barely see what was ahead of us, the visibility was so poor.We have a filter going on inside our apartment and keep all the windows closed. If I spend too much time outside, I start coughing and my eyes get really itchy. According to some of the news reports I’ve been hearing on the radio, I’m not the only one. Heard that there was going to be more dry lightning storms over the next few days so be prepared! Oh, and the lake at Mount Shasta is drying out. It’s such a depressing sight. 

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