2019 “State of the Air” Report Summary

April 26th,2019

2019 “State of the Air” Report

20th Anniversary Edition

Report Summary

Authored by: Central Valley Air Quality (CVAQ) Coalition

Key Findings:

  • The “State of the Air” 2019 Report shows that Americans are already experiencing worsened ozone and particle pollution as a result of our changing climate;
  • Bakersfield remains the most polluted city in the nation for short-term particle pollution, and the Fresno/Madera/Hanford metropolitan area remains the 2nd most polluted;
  • The Fresno/Madera/Hanford area returned to the rank of most polluted by year-round particle pollution. While Bakersfield experienced improvements, Bakersfield ranked 2nd in year-round particle pollution;
  • Los Angeles remains the most ozone-polluted city in the nation, followed by (2nd) Visalia, (3rd) Bakersfield, and (4th) the Fresno/Madera/Hanford region; and
  • Those most at risk include children, the elderly, people of color, low-income communities, and individuals with pre-existing conditions.

Ozone Pollution:

Most Ozone Polluted Counties, American Lung Association, 2019 “State of Air” Report
  • Effects: EPA Concludes Ozone Pollution Poses Serious Health Threats (2013)
    • Causes respiratory harm (worsened asthma, worsened COPD, lung inflammation);
    • Likely to cause early death (both short-term and long-term exposure);
    • May cause harm to the central nervous system; and
    • May cause reproductive and developmental harm.
  • Key Report Findings on Ozone:
    • Increased heat as a result of climate change played a major role in the higher number of unhealthy air days;
    • Cities in the West and Southwest continue to dominate the most ozone-polluted list, with California retaining 10/25 slots;
    • The rankings reflect changes where increased oil and gas extraction in the West led to higher pollution, and clean-up of power plants in the eastern U.S. led to less pollution;
    • Los Angeles remains at the top of the list for ozone pollution, followed by Visalia, Bakersfield, and the Fresno/Madera/Hanford region; and
    • Visalia, CA had a higher average of unhealthy days in ozone pollution while Bakersfield had fewer.

Fine Particle Pollution

Most Polluted by Year- Round Particle Pollution, American Lung Association, 2019 “State of Air” Report
Most Polluted by Short-Term Particle Pollution, American Lung Association, 2019 “State of Air” Report
  • Effects: EPA Concludes Fine Particle Pollution Poses Serious Health Threats (2009)
    • Causes early death (both short-term and long-term exposure);
    • Causes cardiovascular harm (e.g. heart attacks, strokes, heart disease, congestive heart failure);
    • Likely to cause respiratory harm ( e.g. worsened asthma, worsened COPD, inflammation);
    • May cause cancer; and
    • May cause reproductive and developmental harm.
  • Key Report Findings on Particle Pollution:
    • Increased wildfires as a result of climate change caused spikes in harmful particle pollution;
    • Bakersfield remains the most polluted city in the U.S. for short-term particle pollution;
    • The Fresno/Madera/Hanford region had fewer unhealthy air days than the previously recorded year, but returned to the rank of most polluted for year-round particle pollution; and
    • Bakersfield and Visalia, CA had a decrease in particle pollution, but remain 2nd and 4th most polluted year-round in the U.S.

Key threats to the nation’s progress towards cleaner, healthier air

Click here to read the full report…



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