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Poor Air Quality

Pollution is just an unfortunate result of living in this day and age. Whether from car exhaust, wood burning, factory emissions, etc., it is a big problem in California. Bakersfield ranked #1 and Fresno ranked #3 as the most polluted cities according to the American Lung Association’s State of the Air Report in 2013. And, unfortunately, 8 out of the 10 cities on the list were located in California.

Obviously, air quality is something you as a Californian need to be concerned about. People who violate no-burn orders and restrictions in this state can be cited and fined. California doctors are seeing a growing number of patients with symptoms of coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. As the pollution gets worse, more people are getting asthma, chronic pulmonary obstructive disease and other lung diseases.

Air Quality in Your Home

It may seem like there is nothing you can do protect your family from poor air quality besides moving to Alaska. However, there are some very practical things you can do in your home to protect your family’s lung health.

  • No smoking in the home
  • Protect against humidity to prevent mold
  • Test for radon, lead paint and asbestos
  • Make sure anything that burns gas is vented to the outdoors
  • Install and run exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom
  • Vent gas-burning stoves, dryers or water heaters to the outside
  • Open windows and use extra exhaust fans when you?re working with paints or chemicals indoors
  • Don’t idle your car in an attached garage
  • Have your indoor air quality tested by a professional
  • Clean cooling and heating system ducts regularly
  • Choose the right filter for your cooling and heating systems
  • Buy an air purifier
  • Keep floors clean

Supporting Healthy Air in Your City

As a California citizen, you can feel empowered that you are making a difference in air quality by changing your daily habits. Also, use the resources available to you.

  • Walk or ride a bike when possible
  • Use public transportation
  • When driving, obey the speed limit and accelerate gradually
  • Plan your driving trips to be efficient
  • Maintain your vehicles
  • Support the Smog Check Program
  • Report smoking vehicles to 1-800-END-SMOG
  • Shop for efficient, lowest-polluting vehicles or even a zero-emission electric car
  • Obey no-burn orders and restrictions
  • Educate yourself: Air Resource Board

To check on the daily air quality, you can go to: AirNow. There are also some very useful apps to track air quality.