Air Quality

Fires Cause Unhealthy Air Quality, Some Areas See Highest Levels of Ozone in a Decade

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The combination of excessive heat, ongoing wildfires and light winds will produce dangerous levels of ozone in Southern California through Monday, which means some areas could see the highest levels of ground-level ozone (smog) in a decade, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District .

Ozone air pollution can cause respiratory health problems, including trouble breathing, asthma attacks, and lung damage. 

“South Coast AQMD monitors detected one-hour ozone levels to be more than 170 parts per billion (ppb) in the Eastern San Bernardino Valley... One-hour average ozone concentrations have not exceeded 163 ppb anywhere in the South Coast Air Basin since 2009,” the AQMD said in a statement.

The AQMD also extended an air advisory to Monday for anyone living near the Ranch 2 Fire burning in Azusa.

Air quality will be unhealthy Monday for anyone living in the following areas:
   - East San Fernando Valley;
   - Pomona/Walnut Valley;
   - Santa Clarita Valley;
   - San Gabriel Mountains;
   - East San Gabriel Valley.
  

Air will be unhealthy for sensitive individuals in the following areas:
   - West San Fernando Valley;
   - South San Gabriel Valley;
   - West San Gabriel Valley;
   - Antelope Valley.

"It is difficult to tell where smoke, ash or soot from a fire will go, or how winds will affect the level of these particles in the air, so we ask everyone to remember that smoke and ash can be harmful to health, even for people who are healthy," said Muntu Davis, the county's health officer. "If you can see smoke, soot, or ash, or you can smell smoke, pay attention to your immediate environment and take precautions to safeguard your health. These precautions are particularly important for children, older adults, and people with heart or lung diseases."

The AQMD recommends limiting outdoor exposure by staying indoors with windows and doors closed and avoiding vigorous physical activity.

"We are also advising day camps that are in session in smoke-impacted areas to suspend outside recreational activities, such as hiking or picnics, until conditions improve," Davis said.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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