California is well known for its beautiful beaches and a place full of exotic cultures. It is, however, a state full of some of the most polluted cities in the United States. Air pollution in different forms is measured in three categories: annual particle pollution (PM), ozone (O3), and short-term particle pollution.

Particle pollution refers to the remnants of wildfires. The particles are also common in diesel engines, wood-burning stoves, and coal power plants. Ozone pollutions are commonly referred to as smog. This results from chemicals in the air that make it almost impossible to see. Inhaling such air can have adverse effects on your lungs.

Which Cities Rank Highest for Air Pollution?

A large population of U.S. citizens lives in unhealthy particles or ozone pollution areas. Los Angeles has ranked top for the most polluted cities in the country for the last decade. A good number of the populous town are in Central California. They are notorious for unhealthy spikes in particle pollution, annual particle pollution levels, and unhealthy ozone days.

Most-Polluted Cities by the Average Year-Round Concentration of PM2.5

  • Fresno-Madera-Hanford, CA
  • Bakersfield, CA
  • Visalia, CA
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA
  • San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA
  • El Centro, CA

Most-Polluted Cities by Dangerous “Spikes” in PM2.5

  • Bakersfield, CA
  • Fresno-Madera-Hanford, CA
  • San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA

Most-Polluted Cities by Ozone Pollution

  • Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA
  • Visalia, CA
  • Bakersfield, CA
  • Fresno-Madera-Hanford, CA
  • Sacramento-Roseville, CA
  • San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA
  • San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA

Air pollution has adverse effects on your health. Increased exposure to high pollution levels can lead to many future complications. It contributes to about 10,000 deaths annually in the country.

Why Do Parts of California Have Such Harmful Air Pollution?

The emergence of the coronavirus pandemic has seen a drop in air pollution across the whole country. The trend of air pollution in many California cities is no surprise. This is the result of many combined factors.

The primary factor contributing to this trend is the large population in many cities. California is the most populated state in the whole country. It leads to increased daily pollution levels due to the increased domestic, traffic, and industrial emissions.

The economy is ever-growing, which means that there will be far more emissions in the air. There are also constructions taking place and agricultural and domestic emissions. The increase in the number of diesel trucks in the state and the significant port industry also does not help.

There are environmental conditions that lead to air pollution as well, including the severe wildfires that are becoming more common in some states. Some of the states also have mountainous terrain that tends to trap pollution. The world’s changing climate only adds misery to California’s air quality challenges.

In California, the most populated cities include San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Jose. One thing these cities have in common is their locations along the coastal mountain ranges. Along the coasts, the sea breeze can create a pollution-trapping effect. Emissions that are blown from inland become trapped in the mountains and stagnant air.

The air also does not disperse from the mountains. The pollution, therefore, accumulates in the coastal valleys. The warm climate and sunshine do not help the situation. It can heat volatile organic compounds and create an ozone layer. As the temperature rises over the years, the temperatures in the layer also rise.

Many of the most polluted cities tend to be the ones most affected by wildfires. Human-driven climate change further worsens the situation by providing even warmer and drier conditions. This means that the air quality in California only deteriorates. Climate change also increases the threat of wildfires. The warmer temperatures make it easier for the ozone layer to form and make it harder to clean up.

How to Reduce Air Pollution in California?

In California, there are bodies put in place to address the ever-growing rates of air pollution. The bodies unite the residents, local businesses, and the local government to address the matter. Educating the people on the issue is a crucial step to tackle pollution. This is complemented by further research on alternative ways that can be used to curb the situation.

The majority of the air pollution in California comes from emissions from both commercial and domestic use. The current pollution-reducing efforts focus on this area. To reduce the diesel emissions in the cities, some organizations work to reduce the older diesel engines and replace them with new ones.

The old engines pose a greater risk since they have more emissions than newer ones. They also target personal vehicle emissions. This is by encouraging people to transition to electric vehicles by offering financial incentives and other tax breaks that would incline people to buy them. The move would also increase the network of electric vehicle charging stations.

You are also encouraged to walk more or cycle through the city as part of some innovative development plans. This reduces the emissions by motor vehicles. Some of the areas in other cities are gearing towards electric power and natural gas for their day-to-day power consumption.

There are also bodies charged with reducing the wildfires in the state. This is through the reduction of the undergrowth in the forest areas. The clearance of the undergrowth would regulate the fires and reduce the prescribed fires.

How You Can Improve Your Air Quality

There are a couple of signs associated with exposure to air pollution. Common ones are:

  • Irritated eyes
  • Burning sensations in the chest cavity and lungs
  • Heavy coughing
  • Nausea

Particle pollution can be harmful to your health. If the particles get deep into your lungs, they can be destructive. Once in your bloodstream, the particles can cause asthma attacks, strokes, or even heart attacks. The attacks hit harder on babies and can even be fatal to the elderly members of the community.

We offer a couple of solutions at We Care Plumbing, Heating, and Air. They can instantly improve the quality of air around you. Such solutions include:

  • Air filtration
  • Air purification
  • Air duct cleaning
  • Humidification to regulate the humidity in the house
  • HVAC zoning
  • Dehumidification

California is a densely populated state that has a lot of metropolitan areas. It is also an environment subject to a lot of pollution challenges. The economic and geographic challenges usually lead to the deterioration of air quality.

At We Care Plumbing, Heating, and Air, we value the quality of the air around you. We can help you comprehend what’s in your air to improve the health in your house and beyond. You can always check out our page to help you create a better environment for yourself. Our other services include cooling, heating, plumbing, water heaters, air quality solutions, and more.

At We Care Plumbing, Heating, and Air, we have offices in Temecula, Murietta, and Orange and serve all of Southern California. Contact us today, and let us help you create a better world.

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