Even though standards for clean, fresh air are getting stricter in many parts of the state, Fresno’s air quality is still behind when it comes to pollution, especially air pollution. This area is surrounded by mountain ranges and acts as a pool of pollution because warm air from its approximately 3.5 million people gets trapped in the valley.
The air quality in Fresno is among the worst in the area. It is also one of the worst things in the whole country. This is very bad for the health of the people who live there. In this article, we talk about the causes, health effects, and ways to fix Fresno’s and the whole Central Valley’s bad air quality.
Sources of Fresno County’s air pollution
Fresno’s bad air quality comes from a number of different places. These are some of the sources:
- The main pollutant is ozone, which is also called “smog.” Nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from cars, farms, and factories mix together to make ground-level ozone. Heat and light from the sun help this reaction happen. Because of this, the valley is a great place for ozone to form, especially in the summer.
- Carbon pollution from power plants, cars, and factories contributes to air pollution, but not as much as other types of pollution. It also warms the climate, which makes it easier for ozone to form.
- Air pollution is also caused by things like smoke, soot, dust, and other small particles.
Health Consequences of Fresno Air Quality
The annual health-related costs of Fresno’s air quality are estimated to be $1.7 billion. This works out to $1,124 per person. The annual cost for the entire region is estimated to be around $6 billion. This demonstrates that Fresno is responsible for nearly a third of the region’s health-related costs due to poor air quality. This also implies that a significant amount of money is being directed toward treating and controlling diseases caused by Fresno’s poor air quality.
Fresno County is also well-known for having the highest rate of childhood asthma in the United States. This is due to poor air quality, which attacks the membranes in the nose, lungs, and sinuses, causing allergies and asthma.
Asthma flare-ups, lung irritation, and other respiratory conditions have all been attributed to ozone exposure. Additionally, exposure to ozone may cause early death, reproductive impairment, developmental injury, asthma and coughing, and infection susceptibility. Dust and smoke, which are examples of fine particulate matter, can easily enter the lungs and lodge there. Asthma, heart issues, chronic bronchitis, and early demise have resulted from this.
More health risks, more fatalities, and Fresno’s becoming an entirely hazardous county to live in are to be expected if no action is made to reduce the emission of harmful gases in the California Central Valley. Some actions that could be taken or put into effect are;
- The Clean Air Act should be supported by Congress indefinitely. This Act requires the EPA and each state to take steps to improve air quality and protect public health by reducing air pollution. Congress should ensure that the act remains strong, that it is implemented, and that it is enforced. The Clean Air Act’s steps will reduce the volume of emissions released into the atmosphere not only in the region but also in other states.
- Clean Power Plans should be enforced to reduce carbon pollution from power plants. “Clean Power Plans” have the potential to reduce carbon levels by up to 32% by 2030. This can be accomplished by increasing energy efficiency. and switching to cleaner energy sources for existing utilities. Fresno County can also collaborate with other countries to reduce air pollution.
- In addition, the Central Valley should continue to reduce emissions from heavy equipment and commercial diesel vehicles.
- The Central Valley of California should also monitor its air pollution network. This allows for accurate measurement of the volume of air pollution in the region and aids in air pollution reduction planning.
Residents can also help to reduce air pollution by taking action and advocating for healthy air protection. They can save energy by using energy-efficient appliances, driving less, and not burning trash or wood.
Emissions can be reduced, and Fresno residents’ health and living standards can be improved. This will make Fresno County a more appealing place to live, attract more industries, and boost the region’s overall economy.
Seasonal allergies and asthma attacks can be exacerbated by poor air quality. The Baz Allergy, Asthma, and Sinus Centre has 15 locations in the Central Valley and Bay Area to help patients with allergies and asthma management. Our allergists are experts at assisting patients who are suffering as a result of specific issues related to California’s air quality.