California air quality ranked last in nation

Dec 11, 2013 7:39 PM

In a recent report released by the United Health Foundation, California came in dead last for air quality among the 50 states.

But experts say the North State shouldn't be grouped in with the rest of California.

"Here in the North State, we're quite a bit better off as far as ambient air quality goes, both for ozone and particulate levels," Shasta County Air Quality District Manager Ross Bell said.

The report measures air pollution in terms of particulant levels.

California is listed with 15.1 micrograms per cubic meter.

"Shasta County typically is about half that level. Our average level runs around 6 or 7," Bell said.

While the air in the North State can seem pristine, there's no escaping pollutants from factors like traffic, stove usage, and fires.

"The forest fires are the main concern as far as the health impacts on the population of Shasta County. Those typically occur in the summer and a forest fire will release many more times the pollutants of stationary or mobile sources that we see in Shasta County," Bell said.

Inhaling air pollutants can cause health risks, especially for those with lung or heart conditions.

The Air Quality Management District urges everyone to be aware of daily air quality levels and to limit their time outdoors on days with heavy pollution.

As an added incentive to help keep the air clean, the Shasta County Air Quality Management District is offering a $300 rebate for any household that replaces their wood stove with an EPA-certified stove.

You can call (530) 225-5674 to reserve a spot for a rebate voucher.


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