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"State of the Air" Report: Sacramento Makes Improvements

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The American Lung Association in California's "State of the Air" report finds more than 90 percent of Californians live in counties with unhealthy air.  Bonnie Holmes-Gen is with the Lung Association:

Holmes-Gen: "California does still have some of the worst pollution in the country and California cities top the lists of the worst polluted cities in the country for ozone pollution and particle pollution."

Los Angeles County tops the list for the most ozone pollution and Kern County is worst for short-term particle pollution.  But Holmes-Gen says the "State of the Air" report also found improvements, including reductions in particle pollution in the Los Angeles and Sacramento regions.  She says overall, the state's air quality is the best it's been since the Association started tracking it 13 years ago.  She credits the state's regulations that limit vehicle emissions with the improvement.

The Sacramento area has seen a significant drop in some forms of pollution, according to the study.  The "State of the Air" report finds Sacramento County had a more than 70 percent drop in the number of unhealthy days for particulates over about the past decade.  

Bonnie Holmes-Gen is with the Lung Association.  She says one of the reasons for the decline is we've changed the way we use our fireplaces:

Holmes-Gen:  "Wood-burning is a very significant contributor and Sacramento's check before you burn program has made a huge difference in keeping those particle pollutions down and we've seen that difference in terms of the dramatic reductions in unhealthy days here in Sacramento."

Holmes-Gen says ozone pollution is also down in Sacramento…by about 30 percent over the past decade.

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