Strong winds and blowing dust are expected to impact most of the San Joaquin Valley over the next two days. The Northern and Western parts of the Valley (counties of San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno and Kings) expect impacts Monday, Jan. 18 through Tuesday, Jan. 19. The Valley portion of Kern is expected to see impacts beginning late Monday and lasting through early Wednesday, Jan. 20.
The San Joaquin Valley Air District warns residents that high concentrations of PM10 (particulate matter 10 microns and smaller) may result from windy conditions and are issuing a health caution for residents in impacted areas to protect themselves from exposure to wind-blown dust. In addition, smoke from residential wood burning devices can add additional pollutants to the air, further compounding the unhealthy air quality produced during these high wind events. The District urges Valley residents to refrain from using wood burning devices.
Windy conditions in areas where soil is exceptionally dry often creates unhealthy concentrations of (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.
For more information, visit www.valleyair.org or call the District office in Modesto at 209-557-6400.