By Megan Hansen
Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley residents breathe some of the most polluted air in the nation…and several other California residents do too. That’s according to the annual State of the Air Report released today by the American Lung Association. It says the region is among the five most polluted in the country. The ALA’s Bonnie Holmes-Gen says air pollution is an urgent public health problem that’s often ignored.
Holmes-Gen: “It’s not just a bother, where we see a little haze in the horizon. Thousands of people are being rushed to hospital and emergency rooms, and thousands of people are dying early because of air pollution.”
Besides Sacramento…Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Visalia and Fresno are the state’s other worst ozone locations.
But the report says overall air quality has improved over the last decade. And Los Angeles has reduced its number of high ozone days by 25 percent since 2000.
The report also calls for continuing diesel regulations and clean car initiatives to help California reduce air pollution. It encourages all Californians to reduce driving and wood burning to help improve air quality.