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Gusty Winds, Blowing Dust Pose Potential Health Concern
air district

Strong, variable northwesterly winds are expected to cause blowing dust and elevate PM10 concentrations across the San Joaquin Valley with the potential to continue through Friday evening. The District recommends that residents in affected areas use caution and avoid exposure to blowing dust.

Strong winds often cause localized blowing dust in areas where soils are exceptionally dry—creating unhealthy concentrations of particulate matter 10 microns and smaller (PM10). Exposure to particulate pollution can cause serious health problems, aggravate lung disease, trigger asthma attacks and bronchitis, and increase risk of respiratory infections.

Where conditions warrant, people with heart or lung disease should follow their doctors’ advice for dealing with episodes of particulate exposure. Additionally, older adults and children should avoid prolonged exposure or heavy exertion, depending on their local conditions.

To monitor PM10 levels in your area, visit or download the “EPA AirNow” app for android or iPhone. For more information, visit or call a District office in Fresno (559-230-6000), Modesto (209-557-6400) or Bakersfield (661-392-5500).